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The Victorian industries facing large-scale shutdown under Stage 4 restrictions

Thousands of Melbourne tradies and scores of other employees will be out of work for at least six weeks, as unparalleled stage four restrictions have been revealed.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews today unveiled the wide-scale measures after the state reported 429 new COVID-19 cases and 13 fatalities and a state of disaster was declared yesterday.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews
Thousands of Melbourne tradies and scores of other employees will be out of work for at least six weeks, as unparalleled stage four restrictions have been revealed. (Graphic: Tara Blancato)

Mr Andrews said the government has made the “heartbreaking” decision in order to steer the state away from six months or more of hundreds of daily coronavirus cases.

The new requirements for Victorian workplaces fall into three categories, including complete closures, on-site jobs that can only operate with a COVIDSafe plan implemented, and industries that will need to dramatically scale back their workforces in order to continue operating.


Agriculture, forestry and fishing industries

Forestry for purposes of firewood for property heating, pallets production, construction building supplies. Farming for agriculture, horticulture, irrigation, dairy and livestock. Commercial fishing, agricultural production and support services, saleyards and animal transport, vet clinics, animal pounds and shelters, all with a COVIDSafe plan.


Food and beverage production including meat products, seafood processing, dairy products, fruit and vegetable processing, oil and fat manufacturing, grain mills, bakery products, sugar and confectionary manufacturing.

Medical equipment manufacturing, petrol products, coffin and casket manufacturing, cement workers, pharmaceutical and sanitary products, telecommunications infrastructure work, defence and security industries, residential building, paper manufacturing and printing, computer and electronic manufacturing, heating and ventilation, heavy truck manufacturing and specialised machinery.

Meat production services will need to operate at a workforce two-thirds the size of normal operations. (Dion Georgopoulos)

Meat, meat production and seafood processing will need to operate at a workforce that is two-thirds the size of normal operations statewide on single sites.


Only construction of critical and essential infrastructure to support those services will be allowed, as well as critical repairs to residential homes.

Large-scale construction on buildings taller than three storeys will only be allowed to have a maximum 25 per cent of normal employee workforce on-site and need to have a high-risk COVIDSafe plan implemented.

Small-scale construction on projects of three storeys or less can only have a maximum of five workers on a single site with staggered shifts and breaks.

Wholesale Trade

Grocery, liquor and tobacco products sales can stay open with a COVIDSafe plan.

Retail Trade (Goods and services)

Supermarkets and groceries, convenience stores and newsagents, petrol stations, pharmacies, post offices, hardware stores, maternity supplies, motor vehicle emergency repairs, locksmiths and laundries can stay open with a COVIDSafe plan.

Most retail services will only be allowed to operate on a contactless ‘click and collect’ or delivery basis. (9News)

Shopping centres can only stay open with limited access to permitted retail only, markets can only be open for food with enforcement of people limitations in a space. Retail stores will only be allowed to work under a contactless ‘click and collect’ and delivery basis.

These new restrictions come into effect at 11.59pm on August 7.

Accommodation and food services

Accommodation provided or funded by the Victorian Government including for returned overseas travellers, for work purposes, people in detention, critical workers, meals on wheels, in-home aged services, boarding schools, cafes and restaurants for takeaway services can operate with a COVIDSafe plan.

Transport, postal and warehousing

Road, rail, air and water passenger and freight services as well as towing services can all work with a COVIDSafe plan.

Public transport, ride and share and taxi services can only operate to support access to permitted services for allowed workers.

Information media and telecommunications

Newspapers, radio, TV and online broadcasting, internet providers and screen production can continue with a COVIDSafe plan.

Financial and insurance services

Bank branches can stay open with a COVIDSafe plan.

Professional, scientific and technical services

Anyone involved in COVID-19 scientific services, biosecurity or medical research can continue working with a COVIDSafe plan.

COVID-19 scientific services, medical research operations and biosecurity services can continue operating with a COVIDSafe plan. (9News)

Administrative and support services

Building and grounds maintenance, cleaning, pest control, call centres for critical services can all stay open with a COVIDSafe plan.

Public administration and safety

Services such as Medicare, justice, law enforcement, defence and national security, public order, emergency services and road and maritime services can continue work with a COVIDSafe plan.

Judges, magistrates and tribunals can only operate on an urgent basis, and prisons and correctional facilities will work under a COVIDSafe plan.

Education and training

Schools will be restricted to just permitted workers and vulnerable children. Remote learning will be in place from Wednesday for Victoria’s students.

Kids at school
Remote learning will be in place from Wednesday for Victoria’s students. (Today)

Healthcare and social assistance

Hospital health services, referral-based community services and immunisation for maternal and child health services to continue with a COVIDSafe plan.



Mineral product, metal product, furniture, textile, clothing and domestic appliance manufacturing to all stop from 11.59pm on August 5.

Wholesale trade

Trade unrelated to food and medical supplies, motor vehicle parts and furniture wholesaling to stop.

Retail trade (Goods and Services)

Personal care services including hairdressers and car washes to close.

Accommodation and food services

Pubs, taverns, bars, clubs, nightclubs and food courts to all shut down.

Information media and telecommunications

Book publishing, software publishing, motion picture and sound recording and libraries to close.

Financial and insurance services

Financial asset investing, insurance and superannuation funds to close.

Professional, scientific and technical services

Architectural, engineering, legal and accounting services, advertising and professional photography services to stop.

Administrative and support services

Employment services, travel agencies, standard call centres and debt collections to stop.


All elective surgery that is not considered urgent will stop.

Arts, recreation and other services

Museums, parks, gardens, performing arts, sports and recreation activities, gambling activities, alpine resorts, brothels, strip clubs and places of worship will all shut.

Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. Visit the site here or call 1800512348
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