COVID-19 Community Update: common questions, business support, update on cases and mental health support (4 August)
04 August 2020
Here are the answers to the 10 most common questions I’ve been asked since the Victorian Government announced a move back to Stage 3 restrictions for regional Victoria.
Today’s update also includes details on business support, today’s case numbers and how you can access additional mental health support.
I live outside of Melbourne, but work in Melbourne, can I still travel to work?
Yes. As long as your workplace is not one of the businesses restricted in this document. If you can work from home, you must work from home.
I have seen that under Stage 4 businesses are being restricted, do these restrictions apply to businesses in the Stage 3 regional area?
No. The document linked above relates only to businesses in the Stage 4 metropolitan Melbourne area.
Can I still travel to Melbourne for medical appointments?
I have a shared parenting arrangement, can I still travel to fulfil this agreement?
Yes. No matter where you live you can still meet the requirements of your shared parenting agreements, including travel.
I live in the Melbourne Stage 4 area, can I travel to a Stage 3 area for work?
Yes, but only if your workplace in the Stage 3 area is your normal place of work and if the work cannot be done from home. The Stage 4 restrictions travel with you.
Are the Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions the same as last time?
Yes. However wearing a face mask in public is compulsory and golf, fishing and other recreational activities are permitted for groups of two people or your household. More information on Stage 3 restrictions can be found here.
Can I undertake recreational activities like fishing and hunting under Stage 3?
Yes. You can leave home for permitted exercise and recreation activities that are outdoors and can be done by yourself, with members of your household, or with one other person. This includes, fishing, hunting, boating, surfing, recreational diving, learning to drive, or reading in a park. Exercise and recreational activities should be undertaken at the closest available locations to your home. Keep your 1.5m and no equipment should be shared.
I live in the Stage 3 area and undertake volunteer work, can I still do so?
Yes. You can continue to do volunteer or unpaid work if the organisation you are volunteering for is still operating. If you can volunteer from home, you must volunteer from home.
Can I go horse-riding during Stage 3?
Yes. You can go horse-riding with one other person, plus an instructor if required. You should not travel further than you need to and you should horse ride at the closest available location to your home. Keep 1.5 meters apart.
I am a cleaner, can I continue to work in homes?
Yes, in-home care and in-home services, such as cleaners or tradespeople, are permitted to continue to visit homes during Stage 3. Keep your 1.5m and limit contact where possible.
With restrictions being reimposed across Victoria, the Business Support Fund has been expanded to support businesses through the next six weeks.
There is a $10,000 grant available to businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in recognition of spending longer under restrictions and a $5,000 grant available to businesses in regional local government areas (except Mitchell Shire).
Businesses which have already received a Business Support Fund 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. You can apply for the grant here.
I understand that the eligibility for this grant still doesn’t capture all of our local businesses, including sole traders and businesses that are not eligible for JobKeeper. I have called on the state government to provide support for businesses who fall outside of the eligibility and I have again written to the Premier urging him to expand support. Read what I said here.
AG BIZ ASSIST
Ag Biz Assist offer small business assistance across the Euroa electorate through their Small Business Support Program.
The program provides a free, confidential service by experienced specialist to small business owners who are experiencing difficultly under the current economic environment, which may lead reduced turnover, low profitability, tight cash flow, unpaid debtors/creditors and difficultly accessing finance
You can contact them for free business advice on 1300 032 332 or email@example.com or visit http://www.agbizassist.org.au/ for more information.
Victoria has now recorded 12,335 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. There are 439 new cases this morning, bringing the state’s total active cases to 6,876, with 456 Victorians in hospital.
The total number of Victorians that have recovered from COVID-19 is 5,312.
Local cases have not been updated since my email to you yesterday.
ADDITIONAL MENTAL HEALTH SESSIONS FOR VICTORIANS
The Federal Government will provide 10 additional Medicare subsidised psychological therapy sessions for Victorians.
You will have to have a Mental Health Treatment Plan and a review with your GP to access the additional sessions.
The additional sessions will mean that you can continue to receive mental health care from their psychologist, psychiatrist, GP or other eligible allied health worker.
The additional sessions are for people who have already used their 10 sessions through their Mental Health Treatment Plan, and who are:
- subject to public health orders restricting their movement within a state or territory issued at any time from 1 July 2020 to 31 March 2021
- required to isolate or quarantine under public health orders
This measure will commence on Friday 7 August and will be available until 31 March 2021.
Mental health and suicide prevention must remain and a high priority. Please reach out to anyone who you think might need this information.
WORKER PERMIT SYSTEM – STAGE 4 METROPOLITAN MELBOURNE ONLY
Workers such as doctors, nurses and police are not required to carry a permit and are able to use their workplace ID.
Private sector workers will require a permit that is signed by them and their employer. The paperwork for the permit will be up on the DHHS website later today.
Daniel Andrews announced this morning that a new on-the-spot fine of $4,957 will be given to individuals who breach isolation orders.
Other fines include a $1,652 on-the-spot fine for breaching the public health orders and $200 on-the-spot fine for not wearing a mask in public.
Please note if you are required to isolate, you cannot leave your property for exercise.
My office is receiving a huge number of inquiries each day and endeavouring to respond to each.
If you have any concerns please don’t hesitate to phone 5762 1600.