Coronavirus COVID-19 Advice and Resources.

Update on COVID-19 announcements: Victoria


Last update: 17 February 2021

Member Update: 5-day lockdown restrictions to ease at midnight tonight (17 Feb)

Victorian businesses and the community will largely return to the rules that were in place last Friday (12 February 2021) following the Government’s announcement today easing the lockdown restrictions. Read our member update for details of what will change from 11:59pm tonight (17 February 2021), and what restrictions will remain.

Update: 15 February 2021

Member Advice: COVID-19 Victorian Restrictions and Risk Controls

With effect from 11.59pm on Friday 12 February 2021 until 11.59pm on Wednesday 17 February 2021, the whole of Victoria is in hard lockdown. This Advice has been updated to reflect the requirements of the Directions issued at 11.59pm on 12 February 2021 and subsequent amendments to the essential worker list.

Update: 14 February 2021

Member Update: Important Change to Who is an Essential Worker

Today (14 February 2021) we have confirmed with the Victorian Government that workers that perform work for the supply of goods and materials to the petrochemical or building and constructions industries, are 'essential workers'.

For full details, read our full Member Update.

Update: 13 February 2021

Member Update: Important Information re Opening during Victorian 5-day Lockdown

At a meeting this afternoon (13 February 2021) the State Government clarified a crucial exception for Victorian manufacturers.

The exception: Victorian manufacturers which export to other states and/or overseas will be able to remain open during the lockdown period.

For full details, read our full Member Update.

Update: 4 February 2021

Member Update: Several Victorian COVID-19 Restrictions Re-imposed

Following the confirmation of a single local COVID-19 diagnosis, the Victorian Government has reimposed several restrictions.

For full details, read our full Member Update.

Update: 12 January 2021

Member Update: Travel Permit required for entry into Victoria

The Victorian Government has announced that from 5:59 pm yesterday (11 January 2021) anyone entering Victoria from anywhere in Australia will need to apply for a Victorian Travel Permit.

This new permit system applies to all domestic travellers into Victoria, including those traveling for business, and is based on a traffic light system.

For further details, read our full Member Update.

Update: 31 December 2020

Member Update: Victoria COVID-19 – indoor mask wearing reinstated

Due to new community transmission cases in Victoria, the requirement to wear a fitted face mask indoors is being reinstated from 5pm on 31 December 2020.

New Year's Eve Restrictions

It is expected that the same exceptions will apply as previously.

Ai Group has updated our detailed Victorian restrictions advice.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Workplace Advice Line on 1300 55 66 77 or for further advice, and you can get access to up-to-date resources at the COVID-19 advice and resources for members page on our website. Any questions about JobKeeper should be sent to

Update: 20 November 2020

Member Update:

Questions to Victorian Government on COVID Normal and Member Feedback

Update: 17 September 2020

Member Update:

Travel Restrictions in Victoria and along the NSW/Victoria Border

Update: 15 September 2020

Member Update:

Regional Victoria to move to Third Step and Financial Support for Business

Update: 18 August 2020

Member Advice:

Workplace Risk Control Requirements for businesses operating in Victoria

Last update: 11 August 2020

Member Update:

COVID-19 Update: Stage 4 Business Restrictions - Where can I send my product

Last update: 7 August 2020

Member Update:

COVID-19 Update: Greater Clarity on Stage 4 Business Restrictions

Update: 6 August 2020

Member Update:

Stage 4 Business Restrictions – Updated Changes to Permitted Work Premises

Update: 4 August 2020

Member Update:

COVID-19 Stage 4 Business Restrictions FAQ: Who Can and Can’t Open?

Update: 3 August 2020

Member Update:

COVID-19 – Major Restrictions on Business in Victoria

Update: 2 August 2020

Member Update:

COVID-19 - Business Activity to be Curtailed, New Restrictions in Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria

Update: 30 July 2020

Member Update:

Face Coverings for All Victorians and New Obligation to Report COVID-19 Diagnosis

Update: 23 July 2020

Member Update:

Government Support for Workers and Advice on Compulsory Wearing of Face Coverings

Update: 20 July 2020

Member Update:

Compulsory Wearing of Face Coverings in Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire

Update: 15 July 2020

Messages from Tim Piper, Head – Ai Group Victoria:

A comment on Victorian restrictions

COVID-19 Stage 3 "Stay at Home" Restrictions Reintroduced and $534m Business Support Package Announced

Update: 8 July 2020

From 11.59pm on Wednesday 8 July, there will be changes in restrictions in Victoria to respond to the increase in case numbers and to help reduce the risk of further transmission. Different restrictions will be applied to certain areas of the state.

State-wide: Restrictions that apply across Victoria

  • Victorians outside the Melbourne metropolitan area and Shire of Mitchell are being asked to use common sense when visiting friends and family, especially those who are more vulnerable. Only visit those you need to.
  • If you need to travel through the Melbourne metropolitan area and the Shire of Mitchell, you can. You should plan your trip so that you don’t need to stop in an impacted area unless it is for one of three reasons i.e. shopping for food and supplies, medical care and caregiving, and study or work – if you can’t do it from home. NB: Exercise and recreation will not be a reason to travel into or out of these areas.

Melbourne:–Stay at Home restrictions apply

  • From 11.59pm on Wednesday 8 July, if you live in the Melbourne metropolitan area and the Shire of Mitchell then Stay at Home restrictions will apply.
  • There are four reasons that you can leave home:
    • Shopping for food or other essential items
    • To provide care giving, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment
    • For exercise (outdoor exercise only, with only one other person or members of your household)
    • Work or study, if you cannot work or study from home
  • Additional restrictions have also been put in place:
    • You cannot have visitors to your home except for caregiving or compassionate reasons or receiving services.
    • You can no longer visit friends and family who live at another household, except to see your intimate partner, or for caregiving or compassionate reasons, or providing services.
  • There will also be activity, facility and venue restrictions in the Melbourne metropolitan area and the Shire of Mitchell:
    • Restaurants and cafes can open to serve takeaway and home delivery only.
    • Pubs, bars, clubs, nightclubs will be closed. They can offer take away food and alcohol.
    • Beauty and personal care services will be closed, apart from hairdressers and barbers.
    • Libraries and community venues will be closed, except for essential public support services like food banks.
    • Religious ceremonies and private worship can only occur online, with a maximum of five people to conduct the ceremony.
    • Weddings can be held with up to five people (the couple, two witnesses and a celebrant).
    • Funerals can be held with up to 10 people plus those required to conduct the service.
    • Indoor sports centres including gyms, training facilities and pools will be closed.
    • Community sport training and competition cannot occur within the Melbourne metropolitan area or the Shire of Mitchell. If you live in this area you cannot participate in community sport elsewhere.
    • Galleries, museums, historic sites, zoos, outdoor amusement parks and arcades, play centres, indoor and drive-in cinemas, concert venues, theatres, auditoriums, arenas, stadiums, casinos and gaming venues will be closed.
    • Outdoor sport facilities will be closed, except for facilities where people can exercise with no more than one other person or members of your household while maintaining 1.5 metres distance. Equipment should not be shared, and communal facilities cannot open. Personal training outdoors can occur but with a limit of two participants plus the instructor.
    • Holiday accommodation and camping facilities will be closed except for those who reside there for emergency accommodation or work purposes.
  • If you live in the Melbourne metropolitan area or the Shire of Mitchell and are currently on holiday, you can continue your holiday. From 11:59pm, 8 July you will not be able to leave these areas for a holiday.

Public housing restrictions

  • Restrictions continue to be in place for specified public housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne. If you live in one of the restricted public housing estates, then you cannot leave your home. This means:
    • If you are not at the place you normally live, you must return there immediately.
    • You cannot have visitors to your home.
    • You cannot visit friends and family.
    • You will be asked to be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The local government areas where the Stay at Home restrictions apply include: Banyule, Bayside, Boroondara, Brimbank, Cardinia, Casey, Darebin, Franksto, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Hobsons Bay, Hume, Kingston, Knox, Manningham, Maribyrnong, Maroondah, Melbourne, Melton, Mitchell Shire, Monash, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Mornington Peninsula, Nillumbik, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Whitehorse, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Yarra and Yarra Ranges

Update: 16 June 2020

Returning to the workplace and easing of COVID-19 Restrictions in Victoria from 11:59pm on 21 June 2020

The Victorian Government has announced further easing of COVID-19 restrictions which come into effect from 11:59 pm on 21 Jun 2020.

Despite this announcement, the State Government continues to mandate that only those workers who are absolutely required to be at work should be attending places of employment each day. The primary rationale for this decision is to ensure that there is no overcrowding on public transport and in high-rise buildings in Melbourne CBD.

Read full details here

Update: 12 June 2020

Message from Tim Piper, Head – Ai Group Victoria: Victorian Restrictions on Businesses (12 June)

Update: 11 June 2020

Small business owner's guide to creating a mental health plan

The Victorian Small Business Commission has released a small business owner's guide to creating a mental health plan. Many small businesses are significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with the wellbeing of small business owners and their staff being a priority.

The Guide has been developed in consultation with Beyond Blue to:

  • identify stressors that might come up;
  • recognise changes that signal when extra support might be needed;
  • provide strategies and actions to help lower stress levels during this time; and
  • detail people and resources that can help.

Details available here.

Update: 3 June 2020

$50 million funding available to assist COVID-19 response in Victorian food supply chain businesses

In support of vital food supply chain businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Victorian Government has announced the $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan. All businesses within the food supply chain located in rural, regional and outer metropolitan Victorian regions (63 local government areas) may be eligible to apply for up to $300,000 funding on a first come basis, across three funding streams. Details available here.

Update: 29 May 2020

Employees to Continue to Work from Home

On the 29 May 2020, the Victorian Government changed the stay at home directive requiring employees working from home to continue working from home.

Until now the Stay at Home Directions (No.7) stated that a person can leave their premises "only if it is not reasonably practicable for an employee to work from the premises".

The Victorian Chief Health Officer has now updated the Stay at Home Directions to provide a clear and shared responsibility for employees who are currently working from home to keep working from home, and employers to support them in doing so.

The Victorian Government is concerned that there can't be the usual number of people on trains, trams and buses, and that many employees returning to offices will move from public transport to driving to work causing the freeways and major roads to grind to a halt.

No timeline has been set as to when this directive will change, but it is expected to be in place until at least the end of June, or longer.

The updated Stay at Home Directions (No 8) is available on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Easing of Restrictions in Victoria

On the 24 May 2020, the further easing of restrictions in Victoria were announced.

From 11:59 pm on 31 May 2020, there will be the easing of some restrictions:

  • Travel within Victoria will be permitted with tourist accommodation allowed to receive guests provided there are no shared communal facilities such as kitchen or bathrooms;
  • Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlours and massage parlours can open with up to 20 patrons; and
  • Outdoor amusement parks and arcades can open with up to 20 customers per separate space

From 22 June 2020, cinema complexes, theatres, concert venues and outdoor amusement parks can admit up to 50 customers.

In all cases the four-square metre rule will apply and a distance of 1.5 metres should be maintained between customers.

As previously announced, from 11:59 pm on 31 May 2020, restaurants, cafes and other hospitality businesses can resume dine-in service for up to 20 patrons while abiding by physical distancing requirements. From 11.59 pm on 21 June 2020 this will increase to 50 patrons per enclosed space.  A further increase of up to 100 patrons per enclosed space is planned for the second half of July.

Victorian members have adapted admirably to keep their employees safe and continue their operations during this COVID-19 pandemic, and the Ai Group is committed to supporting you during this difficult time.

Stay informed with our exclusive COVID-19 member updates, advice and information.

If you require advice, please do not hesitate to contact the Workplace Advice Line on 1300 55 66 77. We still have a high volume of calls, so you may prefer to send any questions to the Ai Group Workplace Advice Line email

Questions about JobKeeper should be sent to

Update: 11 May 2020

Victoria has announced a slight easy of restrictions. From Wednesday, May 13 the following will apply:

  • Outdoor gatherings being permitted with up to 10 people
  • Indoor gatherings at home are permitted, with 5 visitors able to visit the normal residents of a household
  • The ability to leave the house for exercise will be expanded to include outdoor recreational activities. These activities can occur in groups of up to 10 people outside, but the requirements on physical distancing remain
  • For weddings 10 guests are allowed, plus the couple and the celebrant
  • For funerals, 20 people will be allowed at an indoor ceremony and 30 people at an outside ceremony. This is in addition to the minimum people required to conduct the funeral
  • Religious gatherings and ceremonies will be permitted with up to 10 people, plus those required to perform the ceremony

Victorians who were able to work from home are requested to do so for the remainder of May

With regards schools, students in prep and grades 1, 2, 11 and 12 will return to classrooms on Tuesday, May 26, with the remaining year levels returning on Tuesday, June 9.

Update: 7 May 2020

These are some of the most relevant business-related announcements made by the Victorian Government over the past two weeks, as part of the State Government’s response to COVID-19.

Ai Group is now in discussions with the Government about the next stage of support for business and the role the State Government has in working with companies during the recovery stage.

Staff Canteens

Victorian Members of Ai Group would be aware of the Restricted Activity Directions which have been placed on Victorian companies.  Essentially these Directions required the closure of pubs, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, entertainment facilities and food and drink facilities, including canteens.

This provision meant that Victorian businesses were unable to open their staff canteens and could have been prosecuted for doing so.

Ai Group believed this was an anomaly and had unintended consequences on businesses that remained open and continued to support their staff with an on-site canteen.

The Premier’s Office agreed with our view, and within a few days after initial discussions, had organised for an exclusion to be made, from April 25 2020, to the tight restrictions on the serving of food to allow that:

… where the facility is located on the premises of a workplace and the facility only provides food and drink to persons who work at the workplace, the facility may remain in operation.

In effect this means that companies can operate their staff canteen, provided it is only for staff.  Prior to 25 April 2020 this had not been allowed.

Members will also continue to need to comply with all social and OH&S restrictions required during this COVID-19 period.

If you wish to discuss these new provisions, please contact Tim Piper, Head – Victoria.


The Victorian Government has developed a major testing blitz for the coronavirus over the next two weeks, where they hope to test 100,000 Victorians to better understand how the virus is spreading in the community and help enable the potential easing of restrictions.

The free tests will be offered at local doctors, hospitals, clinics, shopping centres, and potentially at some businesses. Ai Group is communicating with the Premier's office to determine a role for testing in businesses.

Should you wish to have your employees tested, contact the Getting Tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) section on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Other announcements made over the past two weeks include:

Tim Piper
Head Victorian Branch
Ai Group