Victorian Businesses Welcome Back First Phase of Non-Essential Workforce

November 30, 2020 Updated: November 30, 2020

One-quarter of Victoria’s workforce was welcomed back to the workplace on Monday, after nine months of CCP virus restrictions were lifted. Tens of thousands of people were expected to return to Melbourne’s CBD and locales across the state as the government greenlit the phasing in of non-essential workers for the first time since March.

The first phase to repopulate workplaces will allow only 25 percent of employees to go back with an aim for all to return by February.

Epoch Times Photo
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on July 20, 2020. (Wiliam West/AFP via Getty Images)

However, people returning to work will have to follow the Chief Health Officers orders to socially distance and wear a mask indoors at all times.

This will mean that office workers will have to keep to the 1.5-meter social distancing ruling and keep a mask on at their desk.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews changed the ruling on mandatory mask-wearing to only indoors on Nov. 22, declaring that “you’ll still need to wear one when you’re indoors and on public transport—and where you can’t keep your distance,” he said.

Andrews is a strong advocate for mask-wearing. On Saturday in a Twitter post he wrote a message potentially in jest signalling out people who do not wear their mask properly.

“Good morning to everyone except those wearing their mask under their nose at the supermarket,” he wrote.

Not everyone is happy with this rule with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Paul Guerra arguing that the ruling is unnecessary given that people in a restaurant can take their mask off.

He said, there is no risk of the virus spreading in Victoria. “The only way it can come back in now is through quarantine,” Guerra told 3AW on Nov. 30.

He suggested that people wear a mask when standing up, but when they are sat down “have a bit of relief” and take it off.

After experiencing the longest lockdown and the most COVID-19 cases and deaths, Victoria has recorded 30 days straight of no transmission. Only one fatality has been attributed to the virus this week after an older person died who had previously been infected with COVID-19.