VTA/VWMA COVID-19 Update – 7-08-2020

VTA/VWMA COVID-19 Update

Friday 7 August 2020 

The VTA and VWMA will continue to provide members with timely updates as changes are made with respect regulations and requirements in respect of COVID-19, particularly as they relate to the transport, freight, logistics, waste and recycling sectors. 

To complement this, we will be producing a fortnightly COVID-19 Update where recent news will be consolidated and links to key information provided. We appreciate there is a great deal of uncertainty in the wake of Stage 4 lockdown restrictions taking effect in metropolitan Melbourne, and our offices are open for business to provide information to members to support their businesses. 

In this issue: 

  • Tougher restrictions in effect in Melbourne and regional Victoria
  • Warehouse and Distribution Centres
  • Application of Victorian COVID Safety Plan
  • Support for businesses and individuals 
  • Border Crossing Restrictions
  • Tougher restrictions in effect in Melbourne and regional Victoria 

As members would be aware, tougher restrictions are now in place in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. Stage 4 restrictions now apply in Melbourne which restricts businesses to varying extents and curfews the community to their homes between 8pm and 5am. Please note the following: 

The Victorian Government has provided guidance on industry sectors and new work restrictions. The Stage 4 Restrictions template defines who can work and who cannot can be found here. The Government has also issued advice clarifying ‘Permitted Work Premises’ for the purposes of Restricted Activity Directions. Unless an exception applies, only Permitted Work Premises may operate with on-site operations during the restricted activity period in the Restricted Area. This updated advice is available here. 

Warehouse and Distribution Centres 

We have received many questions regarding warehouses and distribution centres and the extent to which they are required to scale back their operations to comply with output reduction requirements. Business Victoria advises that except for supermarket businesses and businesses supplying medicine, pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment, warehouses and distribution centres are required to operate with no more than 67 per cent of their daily peak and daily total workforce. Please visit the Business Victoria website here for further information about warehouse and distribution operating restrictions. 

Application of Victorian COVID Safety Plan 

Every business that can remain open must have a Victorian COVID Safety Plan. This Plan should be completed and carried by all workers that travel on our roads in performing their work duties. Please follow this link for access to the Victorian COVID Safety Plan and guidance material. Every worker must also carry a Permitted Worker Permit. This document must be completed by the employer and worker and carried by the worker when on Victorian roads. Please refer to this link for access to the Victorian Permitted Worker Plan. The Government has also clarified advice for essential workers who require access to childcare so they can continue to work. An additional permit is available to access childcare is required and is available here. 

Support for businesses and individuals  

Please refer to the VTA Coronavirus Information Page for current and updated information on financial assistance and support for business and individuals. Packages have been updated to reflect the tightening of restrictions in Victoria and additional Commonwealth assistance in the form of the introduction of pandemic payment to support Victorians who cannot earn a wage during quarantine,  extensions to JobKeeper beyond September, expansion of the Victorian Business Support Package 

 

Border Crossing Restrictions 

ACT 

A border pass is required if entering ACT from Victoria. Mandatory COVID-19 tests are not required. Freight and logistics operators must apply for an exemption at least 48 hours before intended travel date. Transiting through the ACT for the purposes of freight is currently exempt. Follow this link for further information.  

New South Wales 

A border pass is required if entering NSW from Victoria. Mandatory COVID-19 tests are not required. However, COVID-19 testing every seven days is encouraged, but not mandatory, as part of a COVID-19 Safety Plan. Freight drivers should apply for a border pass under the “Critical services – movement of freight or persons on a commercial basis” exemption category. The freight industry is excused from self-isolation requirements provided the employer has a COVID-Safe plan in place. Facemasks are recommended. Freight workers who do not have any symptoms who have been tested for COVID-19 are not required to self-isolate while waiting for test results. Follow this link for further information.  

Northern Territory 

A border pass is required if entering Northern Territory from any other state. Mandatory COVID-19 tests are not required. Visitors who have been in a declared coronavirus hotspot will no longer be able to gain access or quarantine in Northern Territory. Heavy vehicle drivers moving essential, critical or urgent items are exempt from this, however they must quarantine in their truck or a hotel. Anyone travelling to the Northern Territory must complete an arrival border crossing application and submit an application and have a letter signed by the Chief Health Officer (or their delegate) outlining the conditions under which they can enter the NT and work. An application for exempt status must be completed and submitted with a copy of your COVID-19 management plan. Follow this link for further information  

Queensland 

A Queensland Border Declaration Pass is required if entering Queensland from any other state. This is part of tighter restrictions that came into effect on Saturday, 8 August. The exemption framework for freight movement remains in place under these tighter controls. Mandatory COVID-19 tests are not required, however the Queensland Chief Health Officer (CHO) has issued advice encouraging freight and logistics operators entering Queensland from a COVID-19 hotspot to have their drivers tested for COVID-19, within 7 days of their arrival in Queensland and maintain a weekly testing regime while they travel through hotspots. Drivers should adhere to additional health regulations including self-isolating in truck or accommodation when not working and keeping records of close contacts for 14 days. Follow this link for further information. 

 South Australia 

A border pass is required if entering South Australia from any other state. Mandatory COVID-19 tests are required and essential freight workers will be required to undertake a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival and again on day 12 if they remain in the state, unless they can provide evidence of a test or test results from the preceding seven days. Only essential travellers, including essential freight workers, will be able to enter South Australia from Victoria. If you are an essential freight worker, you will need to provide evidence in your cross border travel registration form, including a letter from your employer stating the duties required to be undertaken and details of the locations, ABN number and your name and address. All essential freight workers who are residents of Victoria must wear a facemask when entering South Australia and self-quarantine in their truck or other private arrangements when not undertaking work-related duties. A cross border pre-approval form must be completed at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Follow this link for further information. 

Tasmania 

A border pass is required if entering Tasmania from any other state. Mandatory COVID-19 tests on arrival in Tasmania are required for essential travellers who have spent time in a designated NSW hotspot or any part of Victoria in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Tasmania. This will be conducted at the port of entry into Tasmania. Essential travellers, including freight and logistics, from Victoria will still be able to apply to travel to Tasmania for a specified purpose. All travellers will still be required to provide travel details on arrival. The most effective way of doing this is via the G2G PASS. Follow this link for further information.