Victorians will end their months of remote work on Monday January 18 as Premier Daniel Andrews announced Public Service employees will be able to return to on-site work at 25 per cent capacity while all other office workplaces will be able to allow half their staff to return to work.
The relaxing of work from home measures come as the premier announced there was no current evidence of community transmission to hinder people’s return to business. In making the announcement the premier said he was acting on the advice of the Chief Health Officer that it is safe for Victorians to continue heading back to on-site office work.
“This will be a massive boost not only for the office workplaces in the heart of Melbourne, but the cafes, restaurants, bars and shops that rely on their business – it will be fantastic to see the city coming alive again,” Andrews said.
Record-keeping requirements for workplaces will remain unchanged, which means that an employer must keep a record of all workers and all visitors who attend the premises for longer than 15 minutes.
In addition to this, from 11:59pm on Sunday, 17 January, rules around mandatory mask-wearing will be able to return to the settings that were in place at Christmas time.
This means that masks will now only be mandatory on all domestic flights, at airports, in hospitals, on public transport, in commercial passenger vehicles, at supermarkets and other large indoor retail locations, including shopping centres.
The premier reminded that it’s also recommended that Victorians wear a mask in other situations if physical distancing is not possible.
“While many Victorians will be happy to see this easing of restrictions it’s vital that workplaces maintain and enforce their COVIDSafe plans to protect staff and the broader community,” Andrews said.
The premier said health advice has also meant Brisbane City and surrounding LGAs, and Greater Sydney, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains will remain red zones until further notice. While Andrews said some Victorians may find this disappointing it was essential to curb community transmission particularly with the UK strain in Queensland’s hotel quarantine system.
“We know there are many Victorians currently north of the border who want to come home and the public health team will continue to assess the situations in New South Wales and Queensland on a daily basis. As soon as it is safe to downgrade the risk in any of the current red zones, we will.”
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