VIC State of Emergency and State of Disaster

Victorian coronavirus restrictions about to tighten on business as Melbourne enters stage four lockdown

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that a state of disaster has been declared in Victoria in an effort to aggressively target the state’s explosion of coronavirus cases. Which means Victoria  is now under both a state of disaster and a state of emergency, after the Government offered police greater powers to help enforce tightened restrictions in a bid to force down worrying community transmission of coronavirus. The premier said “The current rate of community transmission – mystery cases that cannot be traced back to work or home – is far too high. As they tell us, based on the current numbers, cases might begin to drop off not in days or weeks – but in months. Months more of lockdown restrictions. Months of 300, 400, 500 cases a day.”

A curfew will be imposed on Melbourne — the city’s first ever — for at least six weeks, with residents obliged to remain at home between 8pm and 5am. Melburnians can shop for essentials once daily, but only at shops within 5km of their home. Only one person per household will be allowed to make the trip. The message from the Prime Minister  is clear “where you slept last night is where you’ll need to stay for the next six weeks. There’ll be exemptions for partners who live apart and for work, if required.”

  • Supermarkets, pharmacies, bakeries and butchers will be permitted to remain open, and restaurants allowed to provide takeaway.
  • There were 671 new coronavirus cases announced in Victoria on Sunday, and seven deaths. There are now 7,209 active cases nationwide as of Monday morning.
  • Police handed out more than $250,000 fines to some 170 individual virus “rule breakers” over the weekend, state government officials said. Police will have “additional powers to enforce lockdown rules” following Sunday’s state of disaster order.
  • Victorian students will revert to remote learning classes from Wednesday, The Age reports, with “tighter exemptions for children of essential workers than the government imposed last lockdown.”

This table shows the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths reported in each state and territory since 22 January 2020. State and territory totals reflect where a person has been tested and undergoing public health management, this may differ from their normal place of residence.

Stage 4 restrictions have now been enforced in Melbourne, and Stage 3 in rural Victoria. The Victorian government will today announce what impact this will have on the different industries and which of those that are unable to work from home, will be able to continue trading.

We’re now finding the businesses are no longer waiting to see what will happen or hibernating until the whole thing blows over because it’s now clear no one knows when that will happen. Many businesses that had to rush to get everyone working remotely have managed to do so in a way that works, but isn’t as efficient as it could be.

I’ve mentioned before the three different approaches businesses are having towards this pandemic: float, sink or swim. Unfortunately, more will sink now that new restrictions have been put in place, and even more once the government assistance runs out. Those that have been floating are realising that they now need to swim, and those that were already swimming are accelerating away. One of the main reasons we’re seeing businesses booming is because they are using technology as their strategic advantage in the marketplace.

 

Alessia Comandini

Lawyer and Migration Agent M.A.R.N. 1684766

comandinimigration@gmail.com

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