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Work and Study

Find information about how restrictions affect work, study and volunteering in Victoria.

Summary of restrictions

From 11:59pm on Tuesday 27 July 2021:

  • There are no restrictions on the reasons to leave home.
  • If you can work from home, you should continue to work from home. If you can’t work from home or another suitable premises, you can go to your work premises.
  • If you are attending work, you need to abide by a density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm in public or shared areas, with limited exceptions.
  • Capacity limits are in place for workplaces such as offices, with capacity limit of 25% or a cap of 10 workers, whichever is greater.
  • You must wear a mask indoors unless working in an office by yourself or if an exception applies.
  • Service Victoria QR Code check-ins are compulsory for all workplaces, with limited exceptions.
  • School students have returned to on-site learning. Schools are open with a density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm in shared staff areas and areas open to the general public.
  • Universities and higher education facilities are open with a density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm in shared staff areas and areas open to the general public. If you can study from home, you should continue to study from home.
  • Students aged 12 years and over must wear a face mask when indoors or outdoors, unless they are attending primary school or outside school hours care, or a lawful exception applies.
  • It is not compulsory for teachers, educators and carers to wear a face mask while teaching or caring for children. Face masks can interfere with their ability to clearly communicate with students or children in their care. Teachers, educators and carers can choose to wear face masks if they wish when teaching or providing care for children. Teachers, educators and carers must wear face masks in other areas of the school/facility when not teaching or providing care both indoors and outdoors.
  • Even while wearing a face mask, you should keep at least 1.5 metre distance between others.  
  • As restrictions ease it is important to stay safe by washing your hands regularly, coughing and sneezing into your elbow or a tissue and immediately disposing of it, and keeping at least 1.5 metres from others.
  • Masks are also required for all Victorians 12 years and over when using public transport and ride-share vehicles like taxis.

Work

Can I go to work?

Yes, if you can't work from home you can go to work. However, if you can work from home, you should continue doing so unless you are an office worker that is allowed to attend onsite under the 25% office workplace limit.

For office-based work premises, a maximum staff capacity of 25% has been put in place. This will allow organisations to provide plenty of space between workers where it is practical to do so. Workplaces can have up to 10 workers onsite, or 25% of workers, whichever is greater. However, the staff capacity cap may be exceeded to accommodate workers who cannot work from home or another suitable premises that is not the work premises.

A density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm in shared and public areas applies.

Staff and visitors must use the Service Victoria QR Code App to check in before entering a workplace. For more information of workplaces involved, see QR code service.

You must wear a face mask at work unless an exception applies. If you are working by yourself in an office, you do not need to wear a mask, unless and until another person enters the space.

All businesses must have a COVIDSafe Plan if they have on-site operations, including businesses operating from a home.

Businesses do not need a COVIDSafe Plan for individuals working from home who would ordinarily attend on-site operations outside their home. Businesses with no on-site operations (for example, sole traders working from home who do not have business-related visitors) are not required to have a COVIDSafe Plan.

Can I open my home-based business?

Yes. A density requirement of 1 person per 4 sqm applies to each space that is accessible to persons for the purposes of receiving goods or services.

Staff and clients must wear a fitted face mask at all times indoors – except while eating or drinking, or unless an exception applies – and the business must have a COVIDSafe Plan.

Clients can remove their face mask while receiving a beauty treatment if it impedes the service being provided (e.g. beard trimming or facials), and must then put it back on once the treatment is complete.

I live in Victoria. Can I travel interstate for work?

Yes. If it is not reasonably practicable for you to work from home, you can travel interstate for work provided you comply with the requirements under that state or territory’s laws.

You should check the rules your destination state or territory has in place. You will need to obtain a permit, an exemption or be an excepted person to re-enter Victoria. You may be required to apply for a different permit based on the time you were in a certain area. For more information, see Travel Permit System.

You are strongly advised not to travel to declared red zones or extreme risk zones. You will not be permitted to travel to Victoria if you have been in an extreme risk zone unless you have a valid exemption, exception, or a specified worker permit.

In order to return from a red zone, you will need to apply for a red zone permit, and abide by the conditions of the permit upon your return. These include self-quarantine for 14 days and testing within 72 hours of arrival as well as on day 13 post arrival.

I live in metropolitan Melbourne. Can I travel to regional Victoria for work?

Yes, there are no travel restrictions in place between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

I travel to the Alpine Resorts for work, do I have to get tested?

Yes. If you work at an Alpine Resort and you live outside of the Alpine Shire, you must take a COVID-19 test within the 7 days prior to entry at the Alpine Resort. Exceptions apply for workers providing essential services, such as emergency workers.

You must be able to provide evidence of the negative COVID-19 test result and, for Alpine Resort workers, evidence of your employment at an Alpine Resort. Evidence of employment may be a letter from your employer or a payslip.

You may be asked by police, authorised officers or any employee or representative of the resort to provide evidence of a negative test and employment on entry to the Resort.

If you work at an Alpine Resort and live within the Alpine Shire, you do not need to get a COVID-19 test to attend work at an Alpine Report unless you feel unwell.

Does my employer have a responsibility to support me to work from home?

Your employer must support you to work from home, if you can work from home.

By working from home, you are helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 and are keeping those who cannot work from home safe.

Do workplaces need electronic record keeping and check ins?

QR check-ins are compulsory for all workplaces, with very limited exceptions.

Workplaces must use the Service Victoria QR code App. For more information, see QR code service.

Volunteering

Can I do volunteering work?

Yes. You can continue to volunteer if the organisation you are volunteering for is still operating. You must wear a face mask, unless an exception applies, when volunteering indoors and outdoors.

I am in a high-risk group – can I volunteer?

If you are in a high-risk group, you can volunteer, however, consider minimising the number of different people you interact with. 

High-risk groups include people aged 70 years and over, people aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions, people with compromised immune systems and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50.

Study and education

Can my child go to school?

Yes. All school students have returned to on-site learning.

Can my child go to childcare or kindergarten?

Yes. Childcare and kindergartens are open.

Can my child go to playgroup?

Yes.

Playgroups can operate indoors at a community venue or facility such as a Library. A cap of 100 applies per indoor space and a density requirement of 1 person per 4 square metres (excluding infants under 12 months old).

Playgroups can operate outdoors at a community venue or facility. A cap of 300 applies per outdoor space and there must not be more than 10 participants per group (excluding infants under 12 months old).

Private gatherings are not allowed. This means that you cannot go to or host a playgroup at a private residence.

Do students at schools need to wear a face mask?

Students aged 12 years and over who are learning on-site at a secondary school must wear face masks indoors and outdoors, unless an exception applies.

Children who are aged 12 or over and are attending on-site primary school do not need to wear a face mask at school. The Victorian Chief Health Officer has advised that it is not practical to require some primary school students to wear face masks while others are not required to.

Students who attend a special school are not required to wear a face mask but may do so if they or their family choose to. Students are not required to wear a face mask where their disability means it would not be suitable.

Reviewed 28 July 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have COVID-19 call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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