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Premier’s Announcement on COVID-19 Restrictions – VIC

May 13, 2020

On Monday the Premier announced some updates to Victoria’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The details are now available and confirm that subject to social distancing and cleaning requirements display homes remain open for business. There were also no changes that impact building work.

Why did the Premier make an announcement around restrictions?

The National Cabinet Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia acknowledges that states will be the drivers of any easing of restrictions based on local conditions. The Premier’s announcement was required as the State of Emergency provisions announced in March in Victoria expired on Monday. Essentially the government needed to advise Victorians whether current restrictions will continue or would be eased in some way.

What was announced?

The Premier announced that the basic four reasons that allow someone to leave their home remain in place - these include shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and study or work – if they can’t be done from home. One additional reason for travel has been added.

As of midnight, Tuesday 12 May, Victorians are able to leave home to visit friends and family – with a maximum of 5 visitors to a home. Outdoor gatherings of up to ten people are also now permitted with physical distancing in place. There are also some change to weddings, funerals and religious gatherings. Read Department of Health information.

How are display homes treated?

As you will be aware, HIA has made a strong case to the Premier and key Ministers to provide some clarity around the operations of display homes during COVID-19 to assist the industry understand their obligations.

The changes announced do not change the current arrangements.

Display homes are permitted to operate as they are classed as an open retail facility and are not prohibited under the Restricted Activity Directions.

Builders need to ensure that a display home is managed to ensure compliance with the Restricted Activity Directions including social distancing, signage requirements and density quotas.

Customers are permitted to travel to a display home under the leaving premises to obtain necessary goods and services clause of the Stay at Home Directions.

In an effort to reduce confusion for home buyers, HIA members voluntarily adopted the approach applied to real estate agents which initially limited access to appointment only. These rules have now changed to remove the requirement for appointments and to allow up to 10 people to be in a property.

HIA considers it sensible for members to continue to align their approach with the real estate requirements and on this basis we have prepared a guideline to assist members.

HIA Guide to Display Homes in Victoria reflects these arrangements.

For further information contact HIA on 1300 650 620.