Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and his Government are this week holding discussions with industry, unions and community groups prior to releasing a state reopening roadmap this Sunday 6 September.
"Workplaces will need to look very different," Andrews says, "as we find our 'COVID normal'.
"By working with business we'll make sure that can happen practically and safely."
The consultations will be based around certain familiar principles for industry on a safe reopening based on the best advice from public health experts. These principles include:
- ensuring physical distancing and following density requirements on-site and stopping carpooling
- wearing face coverings at all times in the workplace
- requiring hygienic workplaces with common touchpoints regularly cleaned, staff regularly washing hands and hand sanitiser available for all
- continuing to act quickly if staff become unwell – by implementing strict policies that support them to stay home and get tested if showing symptoms
- recordkeeping of all staff, customers and visitors to site, and
- having a plan to act immediately if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19.
'Workforce bubbles' will also be encouraged, to limit the number of staff who have prolonged and close contact with each other. This may involve limiting overlap in shift changes and reduction in staff working across multiple sites.
"Every Victorian wants certainty about the future," Andrews says, "for them, for their family and for their work.
"By the end of the week, we will lay out a plan to reopen our state."
Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, Martin Pakula, says, "Supporting our businesses will be crucial as we rebuild – that's why we're bringing them to the table as work continues on our future roadmap.
"Over the next few days, we'll be talking through our COVIDSafe principles to ensure businesses can survive, adapt and, most importantly, open up safely."