BUV COVID-19 Advice (Aug)

30th August 2020

Update 12/08/20 3.30pm

Click on links below for the latest BUV advice:

Metropolitan Melbourne – Stage 4 Restrictions

Metropolitan Melbourne – Stage 4 FAQs

Metropolitan Melbourne – Translated Stakeholders Pack

Regional Victoria, including Mitchell Shire – Stage 3 Restrictions

Regional Victoria – Stage 3 FAQs

Regional Victoria – Translated Stakeholders Pack

Additional Business Support

 

Metropolitan Melbourne – Stage 4 Restrictions
(From 2 August 2020)

PLACES OF WORSHIP (Source: DHHS)

Summary : 

  • PLACES OF WORSHIP ARE CLOSED FOR SERVICES AND ON SITE WORK (Source: Guide for businesses – below)
     
  • EXEMPTIONS for pre-recording or live broadcasting services ( max 5 people including volunteers on site ) or foodbanks and community services
     
  • CHURCH OFFICES MUST CLOSE – This means that all church administrative work must be done at home including preparation of services, pastoral care, church admin etc. Excessive fines apply (see below) for individuals and employers.  Even if your manse is next door to the church, you cannot work in the church office
     
  • WEDDINGS are not allowed during the next 6 weeks unless for compassionate reasons (Source Births, Deaths and Marriages) (Source DHHS Stay at home Direction Page 14-15)
     
  • FUNERALS are allowed but only for 10 people (Source DHHS Stay at home Direction Page 15)
     
  • WORKER PERMITS – If staff (paid or volunteers) are attending the church for work (only for reasons above) the Church (employer) MUST issue a WORKER PERMIT  – this is the employers responsibility and must be carried at all times by the employee – excessive fines exist  (see below)
     
  • FACE COVERINGS ETC – Face coverings, one person to four-square metres rule and appropriate physical distancing is maintained by keeping at least 1.5 metres between everyone at all time.  Includes musicians but not singers or speakers (see Face Coverings section below for exemptions)
     
  • COVIDSafe PLANS ESSENTIAL – All workplaces that remain open (Churches who are prerecording services, live broadcasting or operating foodbanks) must complete a COVIDsafe plan by 11:59pm on Friday 7th August   – excessive fines apply if you do not comply (see below)
     
  • 8pm CURFEW  – Please ensure you adhere to the 8pm curfew – although recording of church services could be seen as work, the BUV advises that all services should conclude by 7:30pm to allow for workers to be at home by 8pm.
     
  • NO CHURCH MAINTENANCE – For the next 6 weeks, only emergency safety maintenance will be allowed – mowing lawns, basic church upkeep etc cannot be undertaken.  
     
  • RECORD KEEPING – Permitted workplace such as Places of Worship or Community Facilities must keep a record of each person (staff, volunteer, contractors) who attends the premise for more than 15 minutes. See below for more information.

Permitted Worker Scheme (Source: DHHS) (Source: Justice Victoria)
From 11:59pm Wednesday 5 August, employers that require their staff (paid or volunteers) to attend a work site must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility.

Penalties of up to $19,826 (for individuals) and $99,132 (for businesses) will apply to employers who issue worker permits to employees who do not meet the requirements of the worker permit scheme or who otherwise breach the scheme requirements.

There will also be on-the-spot fines of up to $1,652 (for individuals) and up to $9,913 (for businesses) for anyone who breaches the scheme requirements. This includes employers, and employees who do not carry their worker permit when travelling to and from work. 

Employees must carry the worker permit and should carry photo identification when travelling to and from the workplace. A worker permit can be shown electronically to authorities such as a photo, or scanned copy, on a mobile device.

COVID Safe Plan (Source: Business Victoria)
Every workplace must have a COVID Safe Plan to help protect its staff, customers and visitors and to prepare for a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace. Under the Stage 4 restrictions, workplaces that remain open must complete their COVID Safe plan by 11.59pm on 7 August 2020.

  • have a COVID Safe Plan in place that is regularly updated (unless you are a small business with fewer than 5 employees)
  • ensure that any workers that can work from home are able to do so
  • collect records of all workers, subcontractors, customers and clients attending the work premises for 15 minutes or longer (certain exemptions will apply)
  • one worker per four square metres of enclosed workspace or in shared areas
  • unless an exemption applies, ensure that workers do not work across multiple sites, or for multiple employers
  • ensure that workers are in good health – workers cannot work if they are unwell and employers must not require workers with symptoms to work
  • if your worker is unwell, send them home and direct them to be tested. They must stay home until they have their result
  • report any positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) to DHHS, Worksafe, Health and Safety Representatives, and notify your workforce
  • regularly clean your facilities, shared spaces and provide additional cleaning supplies – Paid cleaners are allowed for the purpose of cleaning after a recording and ensuring a safe workplace.
  • undertake risk assessments for cleaning and the potential closure of your workplace in certain situations

Record keeping requirements (Source: DHHS)
To support contact tracing, some businesses, workplaces and premises must request that each person who attends the premise for more than 15 minutes (including staff) provide:

  • First name
  • Phone number.

Businesses must keep a record of those details, and the date and time at which the person attended the facility. Where the patrons spend most of their time in a single space (i.e. a dining room, or a cinema), a record of the space used should also be kept. There is no need to keep multiple records if patrons move through multiple spaces. Records can be kept electronically or in hard copy. Records should be kept for 28 days.

Pens used to record details should be wiped with an alcohol wipe between users.

The record keeping requirement applies to all persons attending a facility or venue for longer than 15 minutes, which may include staff, customers, maintenance and delivery workers. 
 

(Source: DHHS
(Source: Business Victoria)
(Source: Justice Victoria)

 

Guide for business – stage 4 restrictions

Download the Permitted worker permit (Word)

Download Attendance Register

COVID Safe Plan

COVIDSafe Plan template example – Rowville Baptist Church

Curfew and Face Covering (Source: DHHS)
From 2 August, a curfew will be in place in metropolitan Melbourne. Curfews will be in operation from 8pm to 5am every evening, with people only allowed to leave their house for work, and essential health, care or safety reasons.

From 5am – 8pm, you can only leave your home for one of the following four reasons:

  • Necessary goods and services
  • Exercise
  • Care and health care
  • Work/ Emergency

(Source and Definition of 4 reasons: DHHS)

Stay within 5km from home for shopping and exercise.  Use the map on the Department of Premier and Cabinet website to see how far you are allowed to travel from your home under the stage 4 restrictions.

All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live. There are a number of lawful exemptions for not wearing a face covering including “Persons whose professions require clear enunciation or visibility of their mouth. This includes teaching or live broadcasting.”

Please also ensure one person to four-square metres rule and appropriate physical distancing is maintained by keeping at least 1.5 metres between everyone at all times. 

More information:

 
Regional Victoria including Mitchell Shire – Stage 3 Restrictions
(From 5th August 2020)

From 11:59pm on 5 August, stage 3 restrictions apply throughout regional Victoria, including Mitchell Shire. 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 (applies to outdoor exercise, and with only one other person or members of your household)
  • Work or study, if you cannot work or study from home.

Otherwise, you must stay home. When you leave home you must wear a mask or face covering
You may no longer have visitors to your home or visit other people in their homes.

PLACES OF WORSHIP 
Places of religion and worship must close for both religious ceremonies and private worship. Exceptions are:

  • Ceremonies and services can still be recorded or broadcast live from the place of worship for viewing online. Those who are necessary to conduct the ceremony may be on site to record and live stream services, however this is limited to a maximum of five (5) people including volunteers on site. You should ensure those people wear a face covering and maintain physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between each other at all times – See face coverings section above or below for exemptions.
     
  • Essential public support services such as food banks, help for the homeless or other essential activities allowed – Limit up to 20 people per indoor space (or 1 person per 4sqm rule), ensuring face coverings are worn and appropriate physical distancing is maintained by keeping at least 1.5 metres between everyone at all times.
     
  • RECORD KEEPING – Places of Worship or Community Facilities must keep a record of each person (staff, volunteer, contractors) who attends the premise for more than 15 minutes. See below for more information.
     
  • If you can work from home, you must  – all church administrative work must be done at home including preparation of services, pastoral care, church admin etc. 
     
  • Weddings limited to five people – the couple, two witnesses and the celebrant
     
  • Funerals limited to 10 mourners plus those required to conduct the funeral
     
  • A wedding or funeral held in a private residence will be limited to the members of the household, plus the people required to conduct the ceremony

(Source and Definition: DHHS)

Please also ensure one person to four-square metres rule and appropriate physical distancing is maintained by keeping at least 1.5 metres between everyone at all times. 

(Source: DHHS)

Record keeping requirements (Source: DHHS)
To support contact tracing, some businesses, workplaces and premises must request that each person who attends the premise for more than 15 minutes (including staff) provide:

  • First name
  • Phone number.

Businesses must keep a record of those details, and the date and time at which the person attended the facility. Where the patrons spend most of their time in a single space (i.e. a dining room, or a cinema), a record of the space used should also be kept. There is no need to keep multiple records if patrons move through multiple spaces. Records can be kept electronically or in hard copy. Records should be kept for 28 days.

Pens used to record details should be wiped with an alcohol wipe between users.

The record keeping requirement applies to all persons attending a facility or venue for longer than 15 minutes, which may include staff, customers, maintenance and delivery workers. 

Face Coverings (Source: DHHS)
 All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live. There are a number of lawful exemptions for not wearing a face covering including “Persons whose professions require clear enunciation or visibility of their mouth. This includes teaching or live broadcasting.”

More information:

 

Additional Business Support

Business Support Fund
To support businesses impacted by these restrictions, one-off grants will be made available to eligible businesses under the Business Support Fund – Expansion program:

  • $10,000 for employing businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in recognition of spending longer under restrictions
  • $5,000 for employing businesses in regional local government areas (except Mitchell Shire)

Businesses which have already received a Business Support Fund – Expansion grant, or have applied for one, will not need to re-apply. Successful applicants will automatically receive this additional allocation. Applications for the program will be extended until 14 September 2020.

(Source: Business Victoria)

More information or to Apply

Let’s Stay Connected Fund
The Victorian Government is helping communities to stay connected during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and beyond with the Let’s Stay Connected Fund. The fund provides grants between $5,000 and $200,000 to support community-led initiatives.

Applications will be considered from Victorian-based incorporated community organisations, LGA’s, incorporated not-for-profits and industry groups. Individuals and unincorporated associations are not eligible to apply. All applications must provide a current ABN number.

More information or to Apply

 

Update 3/8/20 8pm (Source: DHHS)

Melbourne – Stage 4 Restrictions
(From 2 August – 16 August)

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced the following today :

  • From 6pm  on 2nd August, Victoria entered a State of Disaster.  This will give the police additional powers to make sure people are complying with public health directions
  • From 6pm on 2nd August, Melbourne also moved to Stage 4 restrictions with stronger rules to limit the movement of people – and limit the spread of this virus across our city.
  • This includes a curfew – from 8pm to 5am – beginning tonight. The only reasons to leave home during these hours will be work, medical care and caregiving.
  • 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.
  • The Night Network will be suspended, and public transport services will be reduced during curfew hours. This will also allow us to redeploy more of our PSOs into our enforcement efforts.
  • 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 – you and one other person – 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.
  • Face coverings / masks continue to be compulsory right across Victoria 

See Premier’s Statement here  – Melbourne 

 

Regional Victoria – Stage 3 Restrictions
(From 11:59pm on Wednesday 5 August)
 
  • 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:  shopping for food and essential items, care and caregiving, daily exercise, 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 need to close.
  • Community sport will need to stop.

See Premier’s Statement here – Regional Victoria