Letter to the construction sector - February 15 2021

A letter to the Construction Sector -  Circuit Breaker Restrictions

New circuit breaker actions are in place from 11:59pm Friday 12 February to 11:59pm Wednesday 17 February 2021 to limit the spread of COVID-19 across Victoria.

The Chief Health Officer and his team have recommended this action because of the highly infectious nature of this mutant UK strain of the virus.

This is a short, sharp action that we’ve seen work in Queensland and Western Australia and will help keep Victorians safe.

Under the Victorian Government’s circuit breaker actions, construction on critical infrastructure can continue.

Critical infrastructure includes:

  • public infrastructure (including public roads, health, prisons, transport and utility projects)
  • work for the purposes of national security and defence
  • projects previously approved as 'State critical infrastructure projects' or 'Critical and essential infrastructure projects'.

For permitted projects, employers are expected to manage their workforce and restrict operations only to essential activities.

Emergency repairs and maintenance can also occur. Critical repairs to any premises are also allowed where it is an emergency or they are required for safety reasons.

All other construction work must be paused in a safe way.

Where needed, construction sites across Victoria can carry out work required to make their sites safe and secure, prior to closing the site but this must be done promptly.

There are stronger restrictions on construction now than were previously in place. While this is challenging, this circuit breaker action is designed to be a short and sharp action to stop the spread of this highly infectious variant strain.

The Victorian Government’s High-Risk Industry Engagement and Enforcement Operation (HRIEEO) is actively enforcing Victorian Chief Health Officer (CHO) directions.

If anyone has concerns about businesses practice during this time, they can phone the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398, WorkSafe advisory line on 1800 136 089 or the Victoria Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

Those in breach of public health directions will face significant fines.

All businesses must also have an active and up-to-date COVIDSafe Plan.

That includes recording the contact details of anyone on their premises for 15 minutes or more, including staff, customers and suppliers. Electronic record keeping is preferred. The Victorian Government QR Code Service is free for all Victorian businesses.

Keeping an accurate record – and encouraging staff and visitors to your premises to register their details – is vital to help track any potential spread of the virus.

Remember - if you or your workers have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, please get tested. Every test helps keep Victorians safe.

Find more information at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or by calling Business Victoria on 13 22 15. If you need an interpreter, call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 and press 0.

Thank you for your continued efforts to keep Victorians safe.