Update: 7-day lockdown announced for whole of Victoria

The State Government has today announced a short-term ‘snap’ lockdown as a result of the new mystery cases of COVID-19.  

The lockdown will apply state-wide and take effect as and from 8pm Thursday 5 August 2021. The lockdown is stated to run for seven (7) days, and we assume will end at 11:59pm on Thursday 12 August.

A table of restrictions has not yet been published, however we understand the format will be the same as the previous lockdown from July 2021. As such, these restrictions have not been verified against a published document as yet.

A summary of those restrictions is as follows:

What can I do?

  • During this lockdown, there are five reasons to leave the home: shopping for essentials, caregiving, essential work or education, exercise, and to be vaccinated.
  • Exercise is limited to 2 hours per day.
  • The 5km travel radius will apply.
  • Masks are reintroduced as mandatory in all areas outside of the home, including outdoors.
  • Private and public gatherings are not permitted.

What can open?

  • Hospitality premises can open for delivery and take-away service only;
  • All of the following employment sectors can continue to operate with in-person service:
    • Supermarkets, groceries, butchers, bakeries, pharmacies, bottle shops, banks, petrol stations, newsagencies, post-offices, health-service/front-line responses.
  • The following employment sectors are closed:
    • Outdoor sporting facilities, including tennis and golf clubs;
    • Indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, swimming pools, community venues, amusement parks and arcades, creative studios, galleries and museums;
    • Hairdressers, car washes and personal care services;
    • Accommodation, real estate services,
  • Non-essential tradesperson roles are not permitted in private residences, for instance garden maintenance, painting or cleaning. Essential services such as plumbing and electricians to make emergency repairs are permitted.
  • Schools will move to remote learning, except for vulnerable children and children of authorised workers.
  • Construction work will be permitted to continue subject to certain conditions.
  • For office and administration, the directions will provide that ‘if you can work form home you must work from home’.

Customers can still use a ‘click and collect’ style of access to retail premises for the purpose of essential goods and services.

Can I serve customers outside of a 5km radius?

  • The 5km radius of travel rule applies to persons leaving their residence.
  • Businesses are under no obligation to ensure that their customers reside within a 5km radius, and have committed no breach of the directions where they permit or serve customers who have breached the 5km radius.
  • Operating businesses must still comply with record keeping requirements for customers who attend a facility for more than 15 minutes.
  • Formal written directions are expected to be issued this evening.

Commercial Tenancy Relief

The Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme Bill 2021, as discussed in our update on Tuesday 3 August 2021,will pass through Parliament tonight.

Once the Bill becomes law then the Regulations, which will contain the actual details of the relief scheme, will be able to be published.

Business Support

Further business assistance is expected to be announced tomorrow based on today’s press release.

Our office will provide further updates tomorrow confirming any changes to the restrictions, any changes to the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme Bill 2021 once passed, and details of business support packages once announced.

The short notice is another severe blow to hospitality businesses and will essentially scupper any material evening trade tonight.

This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.