Victoria COVID Update, 2 October 2021

The construction industry is finally set to re-open next week. With vaccination rates on the rise we can hopefully return to normal before the end of the year. The changes to restrictions are listed on the VicGov website under the Victorian Government Construction Restart Plan:

Now to break it down into something that is simple to follow.

Before Tuesday 5 October:

The site operator must complete a COVIDSafe construction declaration form available on the Service Victoria platform from today, Saturday, 2 October. This will make it easier for construction workplaces to follow the Chief Health Officer directions and keep worksites safe.

From Tuesday 5 October:

  • All workers must have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or they cannot work.
  • Crib rooms may be used, provided they meet the best practise guidelines including density quotient 1 per person per 4 square metres; and additional ventilation so that entire air volume of the room replaced or filtered every 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Workers moving between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria must be fully vaccinated, unless they are working on large scale sites or state-critical infrastructure. Fully vaccinated means having both vaccinations, or one vaccination and a booking by Saturday, 13 November.
  • State Critical infrastructure Projects can return to 100 per cent of their workforce if crib rooms have best practice approaches including ventilation and density limits.
  • Operators must have worker shift bubbles where practical.
  • Small scale sites are capped at five people per site, plus a supervisor (this can also be the COVID Marshall).
  • Large scale sites are capped at 25 per cent of the workforce, or 50 per cent, if crib rooms follows best practice standards and all workers are fully vaccinated.

The Victorian Government has also announced mandatory vaccination requirements for all authorised providers and authorised workers (APAW) who are not working from home. This includes manufacturing workers and delivery drivers.

  • All workers – in Melbourne and regional Victoria – on the Authorised Worker list who cannot work at home will require their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Friday, 15 October.
  • From 26 November 2021, the requirement will increase to having had two doses or a medical exception.
  • Mandatory vaccination does not apply to those working from home.

Tradespeople and builders still cannot visit homes for renovations but can provide repairs, maintenance, home installations and other building works if able to perform the work solo (unless additional workers are required for safety reasons) and only outdoors. Physical distancing must be maintained at all times. Trades people and builders can only make emergency repairs indoors.

What are the key measures to ensure a COVIDSafe site?

  • Workers must declare that they do not have symptoms before starting each shift.
  • Workers should have access to COVIDSafe break areas, with as much natural ventilation and fresh air as possible.
  • Workers should, where possible, maintain physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres apart and spacing one worker per four square metres.
  • All workers must wear face masks except when eating or drinking, unless a lawful reason not to wear one applies.
  • Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned with detergent and disinfectant at least twice a day.
  • Hand hygiene needs to be encouraged with adequate supplies of sanitiser and soap.
  • Record keeping must be maintained to help contract tracing and should be considered for break areas. 
  • Stagger start, finish and break times and maintain worker bubbles to limit interaction and reduce congestion.
  • You must maintain workforce caps.
  • Employer must designate an employee(s) as a COVID Marshal to monitor compliance with the onsite requirements.

What are the key rules for workers?

  • Carry evidence of your COVID-19 vaccination, or at least your first dose.
  • Make sure you have a signed Authorised Worker Permit.
  • Wear a face mask at all times, except when eating or drinking, or when another lawful exception applies.
  • Practise physical distancing.
  • Take your breaks outside where possible.
  • Only fully vaccinated workers can travel between Restricted Areas and regional Victoria.

Please look after yourselves - and check in on you family and friends. This has been tough for everyone. If there is anything I can do to help please do not hesitate to contact me or my fellow AGWA team members.

Take care and stay safe,

Melissa Baker
National Industry Development Manager
Australian Glass and Window Association