Victorian Government to ease COVID-19 restrictions
On Wednesday morning Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley announced the Victorian Government will ease COVID-19 restrictions from 11:59pm, Friday 22 April. The decision to remove many of the remaining restrictions comes as the Omicron wave recedes and 70 per cent of Victorian adults have received their third vaccination.
The following changes will be made to the pandemic orders:
- Patrons won’t be required to have two doses or show their vaccination status before entering any venue.
- The requirement for staff and patrons of venues to check-in using the Service Victoria app will end, with operators not required to keep any attendance records or maintain a check-in marshal.
- Masks will no longer be required in primary schools, early childhood, hospitality and retail settings, or at events of any size.
- Close contacts will no longer have to quarantine – provided they wear a mask indoors and avoid sensitive settings. They will also need to undertake at least five negative rapid tests over the seven days that would previously have been the self-quarantine period.
- All visitor restrictions in hospitals will be removed except for mask requirements, with health services able to tailor their own settings based on their own circumstances.
- Events with more than 30,000 people will no longer require public health pre-approval.
- International travellers who are symptom-free will be recommended but not required to get a PCR or rapid test on arrival, and unvaccinated travellers will no longer complete 7 days’ quarantine. Pre-departure tests for unvaccinated air crew will also be lifted.
- People are exempt from testing or quarantine for 12 weeks if they’ve had COVID-19 – up from 8 weeks.
- Individuals will be required to notify their workplace contacts, in addition to informing their social contacts. Workplaces won’t have to individually identify and notify each potentially exposed worker.
While many restrictions will be removed, several will remain including:
- The essential requirement to isolate for seven days following a COVID-19 diagnosis and notifying of a positive test.
- Existing two-dose and three-dose vaccination mandates for workers.
- Visitor restrictions in care facilities will be retained to protect the vulnerable. Residents can currently have up to five visitors per day if each show a negative rapid antigen test result – or two visitors if no test results are provided.
- Face coverings will still be required on public transport and at airports – excluding airport workers who aren’t public facing – and in sensitive health, aged care and justice settings.
- All workplaces will still require a COVIDSafe Plan.
Many rules which are no longer required will be recommended, including working from home if you’re a close contact exempt from quarantine. Masks are strongly recommended when you can’t physically distance.
or more information, please contact your Hawker Britton consultants JP Blandthorn on + 61 3 9034 3021 and Emma Webster on +61 3 9034 3020. Further Hawker Britton Occasional Papers on the activities of the Victorian Government are available here.