To: CCF Victoria staff, members and stakeholders.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – From the CEO desk.

Good afternoon.

The Premier – the Hon Daniel Andrews, this afternoon declared a “State of Disaster” for Victoria which will see the introduction of new measures and broader police powers to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

The following is a brief summary of his Press Conference announcements and what this means for “how we live at home” (today’s announcement), while acknowledging further announcements will be made in the next 24 hours about “how we work”:

“The Statistics” … number of COVID-19 cases

As at Sunday 2 August 2020, Victoria recorded:

  • 671 new COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours and a 7 further deaths bringing the total in Victoria to 123. 
  • 6 of these fatalities were linked to the Aged Care sector bringing the total to 1053.
  • There are now 6322 active cases in Victoria;
  • 385 people are in hospital;
  • 38 in intensive care; 
  • Over 1053 cases are linked to aged care with 529 of these in restricted areas;
  • 598 cases are under investigation;
  • The concerning statistic is that there are 760 “mystery cases” where contraction of the virus cannot be traced. 

The key message health experts are saying to Government is that while the measures introduced are working, they are too slow.  The current rate of community transmission – mystery cases that cannot be traced back to work or home – is far too high and a major concern  Based on the current numbers, it was reported that it could take up to 6 months or more of lockdown restrictions and months of more than 300, 400, 500 cases a day before we may see a decline.

Statement On Changes To Melbourne’s Restrictions

From 6pm tonight, Sunday, 2 August 2020, Victoria will enter a State of Disaster.  This will give our police additional powers to make sure people are complying with public health directions

In addition from 6pm tonight, Melbourne will also move to Stage 4 restrictions with stronger rules to limit the movement of people, ie:

  • A curfew is being introduced from 8pm to 5am – beginning tonight. The only reasons to leave home during these hours will be work, medical care and caregiving;
  • the Night Network will be suspended, and public transport services will be reduced during curfew hours;
  • New time, distance and gathering limits will also apply for exercise and shopping.  Exercise will be limited to a maximum of one hour per day and no more than five kilometres from your home;
  • Group size will be limited to a maximum of two – whether you live with them or not;
  • Shopping will be limited to one person per household per day. Again, the five-kilometre rule will apply. There’ll be some common-sense exceptions. If your closest supermarket is further than five kilometres, you can still shop there. If you’re a parent with little ones, you can still take them with you when you go for a walk.  
  • These distance, gathering and time limits won’t apply for work, medical care or compassionate reasons;
  • Study at TAFE and university must be done remotely;
  • From Wednesday, 5 August at 11:59pm, weddings in Melbourne cannot occur;
  • Face coverings will continue to be compulsory – ensuring that if we do have to be out, it’s in the safest way possible;
  • schools will return to remote and flexible learning – across all year levels.  Students who are currently attending onsite – including senior students and those in specialist schools – will go to school on Monday, have a pupil free day on Tuesday, and be learning at home from Wednesday.  Onsite supervision will be offered but tightened – only available for students who really need it.  That means children whose parents are permitted workers and vulnerable kids who can’t learn from home.  From Thursday, those same rules will apply to Melbourne’s kinder and early childhood education services.

The above changes will be in place for at least the next six (6) weeks until Sunday 13 September, 2020.

Statement On Changes To Regional Restrictions

Based on the current numbers, it’s clear there is a real and growing threat in some regional communities.

While from 6pm today a State of Disaster has been declared with the Victorian Police given additional powers to make sure people are complying with public health directions from 11:59pm on Wednesday, regional Victoria will return to Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions.

That means there’ll again only be four reasons to be out: 

  1. shopping for food and essential items;
  2. Care and caregiving;
  3. Daily exercise;
  4. Work and study – if you can’t do it from home.

Otherwise, you need to stay home. Businesses in regional Victoria will also return to Stage 3 restrictions.  That means restaurants and cafes can only offer delivery and takeaway. Beauty and personal services will need to close. Entertainment and cultural venues will and community sport will stop.

Face coverings will continue to be compulsory with regional schools returning to remote and flexible learning – across all year levels and across the state. The only exception will be for specialist schools.

Onsite supervision will again be made available for students who need it, including children whose parents are permitted workers and vulnerable kids who can’t learn from home.

Further announcements to be made on Business Impact

Today, we have seen announcements that change “how we will live”.  Tomorrow we will see further announcements made about “how we will work.” This will include 3 key areas. Ie:

  1. Business as Usual (ie: supermarkets, chemists, food outlets – essential services)
  2. Other Industries with reduced hours or restricted access;
  3. Industries / business that are to close if work cannot be done remotely, or from home)

At CCF Victoria, we have been working hard with employer groups and unions, to ensure the Government is well informed on the COVID-19 measures we have been undertaking to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus on construction sites to mitigate widespread closures of Building & Construction worksites.

I will keep all CCF staff and members informed of developments over the next 24 hours with a further update tomorrow on the business impact of announcements being made by Government.

Until this update …. Please adhere to the above measures.  They are being introduced to keep you and your fellow family members safe & well in these challenging times.

Until my next update …. keep well – keep safe.

Kind regards

John Kilgour

CEO, CCF Victoria