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Update on Victoria's 5 Day Lockdown

February 13, 2021

Members will have noted from HIA’s alert sent yesterday that the Premier has announced a 5 day lockdown for all Victoria until 11:59pm on Wednesday 17 February 2021.

This lockdown is very different from the “stage 4 lockdown” last year that only applied in Melbourne. Members should refer to yesterday’s alert for the details of the lockdown and advice for residential construction sites.

Unfortunately some announcements and reporting of the lockdown yesterday referred to this new lockdown being a “stage 4” lockdown and this has caused some confusion for the residential construction industry.

The Government has stated that this lockdown is intended to be short but sharp.  The rules that applied last year, such as the limits on workers on site and allowing the construction industry to remain open do not apply this time.   As advised yesterday, construction work is not considered ‘essential’ and building sites including renovations, display homes, product selection centres, and offices must be closed for the duration of this lockdown. 

Other additional information now available

Renovations Work

Renovations work is included in the site closure requirements and must remain closed for the duration of the lockdown.

An exception is work to make a building site safe and secure or to make a site safe to occupy.  This would only allow for work on sites for the time it takes to make that site safe and secure.

Retail Arrangements and Manufacturing

The Governnment’s material that has been made available today has provided some further guidance for suppliers and manufacturers operations during the 5 day lockdown.

Retail facilities, including trade suppliers, are allowed to open for limited purposes.  This includes supply for trades carrying out permitted work and also for “click and collect” and delivery.

Whilst manufacturing is generally required to be closed during the lockdown, the essential providers and workers list from government provides allowance for some manufacturing and exporting activities that support construction to continue operating with conditions. This includes:

  • a factory or facility that is not able to be shut down without causing damage or loss to plant and equipment, but only those operations that are necessary in order to prevent that damage or loss; and
  • commercial operations that supply goods or services necessary:
  • for the implementation of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19; or
  • to support any business activity that may be carried out in accordance with these directions; or
  • to support the export of goods and services from Victoria.

More information on this and also exporting businesses is expected from government later today. 

Any business that is allowed to keep operating remains subject to the existing workplace restrictions, including needing COVIDSafe Plans, collecting contact details, face masks, density quotients and working from home where possible.

HIA will continue to keep its members informed once new information is available.