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VICTORIA RE-OPENING: Everything we Know so far

The time has finally arrived reopening Victoria, This Friday 22nd October! 

To make things easier for our industry, our businesses, employers and employees, we have put together a summary of all the important points to know before you open your business and return to work.

ABIC is here to support everyone and every choice, as a not for profit organisation we remain neutral and are here to convey government information in a way that is easy to understand and apply, so that you are able to make an informed decision about your business and workplace.

If the information below doesn't answer all of your questions, please feel free to email us on [email protected] and we will be happy to answer all of your questions.

We are wishing you a fabulous, smooth, and prosperous reopening.

Warm regards,

Stefanie Milla - CEO ABIC

 

At 70% (16+) fully vaccinated:

METRO MELB: Hairdressing, beauty, personal care can open with one per 4 square metre rule (indoors) and a 5 client cap (fully vaccinated):

What we know

Answers we are waiting on

  • 1 per 4sqm rule applies
  • Clients capped at 5
  • Masks can be removed to perform facial treatments only
  • Are in home services in Metro permitted with separate entrance and exit to home? 
  • Will fully vaccinated rule for staff to return to work remain or will allowances be made for  those having received their first dose and having booked in for second dose?
  • When will unvaccinated be permitted to work and have treatments?


REGIONAL VIC: Hairdressing, beauty, personal care will continue to stay open with one per 4 square metre rule (indoors), and with the following changes (fully vaccinated) until they fall in line with Metro 80% vaccination rates.

What we know

Answers we are waiting on

  • 1 per 4sqm rule
  • Client cap 30
  • Masks can be removed by client for facial services only
  • In home services are permitted with separate entrances and exit to home and following the density quotient requirements.
  • Will fully vaccinated rule for staff to return to work remain or will allowances be made for those having received their first dose and having booked in for second dose?
  • When will unvaccinated be permitted to work and have treatments?


At 80% (16+) fully vaccinated:

Hairdressing, beauty, personal care in both Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria will align and operate with one per 4 square metre rule (indoors) and a 150 client cap (fully vaccinated), and masks can be continue to be removed for facial treatments, but must remain in all other circumstances. 

Here are the links for the Victoria's Current Roadmaps.

VIC METRO LINK -  211017 - Roadmap.pdf (premier.vic.gov.au)

VIC REGIONAL LINK - VICTORIA’S ROADMAP: DELIVERING THE NATIONAL PLAN - Summary of proposed restriction levels - Regional Victoria


Can I remove my clients face mask to perform facial treatments at 70% vaccination rate?

Yes, you can but only for the duration of the facial treatment.

"Lawful excuses or exceptions for not wearing a face mask

A face mask is not required to be worn in some circumstances including for:

"Persons receiving or providing a service from a facility which is permitted to operate under the Restricted Activity Directions (Victoria), to the extent that it is not reasonably practicable to receive or provide that service while wearing a face mask (for example, beard trimmings)"

LINK FOR FACE MASK EXEMPTIONS -  Face masks - when to wear a face mask | Coronavirus Victoria 


COVID-19 Obligations for your business 

Please ensure you are prepared and ready to open by ensuring the following requirements have been met:

ATTACHED TO THIS BLOG (scroll to view) IS AN EDITABLE COVID SAFETY PLAN EXAMPLE FOR BEAUTY AND AESTHETICS. 

Your COVID-19 Safety Plan should be tailored and developed in consultation with your team and your relevant Health and Safety Representatives at your workplace. 

The ABIC guide attached complies with VIC Public Health directions, order and restrictions for COVID-19. 


Here are all the posters you need for your business to open:

LINK - Have all appropriate signage and posters


Here are the QR Code requirements:

LINK - QR Code Service for record keepings OR Register to use VIC Government QR Code Service


Here is what you do if there is a covid case in your business:

LINK - Know what to do in the event of a confirmed case in your workplace


COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Self Tests for Home and Workplace 

The Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) has approved three Covid-19 rapid antigen self-tests for home and workplace use in Australia from 1 November.

It includes two oral fluid tests and one nasal swab test. Results of the rapid tests are expected within 15 minutes.

Rapid antigen testing is expected to become a key layer in community protection from Covid-19 once states open up.

COVID-19 rapid antigen self-tests that are approved in Australia | Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)


COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements and Exemptions

ABIC is here to support everyone and every choice, as a not for profit organisation we remain neutral and are here to convey government information in a way that is easy to understand and apply, so that you are able to make an informed decision about your business and workplace.

Here is a link to general information and FAQ's for business and industry.

Other useful resources and information:

VEOHRC Explainer: Mandatory COVID-19 vaccines and your rights

OAIC: COVID-19: Vaccinations and my privacy rights as an employee

How to get your COVID-19 Digital Certificate 


What counts as proof of vaccination?

Australians can access proof of vaccination after they have been vaccinated through myGov, their vaccination provider (including a medical practitioner) or the Australian Immunisation Register. See Services Australia – How to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccinations for details.

Here are the latest directions issued by Victoria's Chief Health Officer


This is the Workplace Legal Advice Program and information for employers and employees:

Some employers are eligible for FREE independent legal advice for workplace issues arising from the coronavirus outbreak from our Workplace Legal Advice Program. See more information here:

https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/tools-and-help-during-coronavirus/workplace-legal-advice-program-overview/workplace-legal-advice-program-information-for-employers

and;

https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/tools-and-help-during-coronavirus/workplace-legal-advice-program-faqs


COVID-19 vaccinations: workplace rights and obligations 

This link contains the following types of information and will be very important for you to know if you employ staff:

https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws/covid-19-vaccinations-and-the-workplace/covid-19-vaccinations-workplace-rights-and-obligations

  • Managing vaccinations in the workplace
  • Requiring employees to be vaccinated
  • Refusing directions to be vaccinated
  • Providing evidence of vaccination
  • COVID-19 vaccinations: resolving workplace issues
  • COVID-19 vaccinations: legislation and public health orders
  • Does an employer need to consult when implementing a workplace policy about coronavirus vaccinations?
  • Do employees have to be paid for the time to get vaccinated against COVID-19?
  • Can an employee take sick leave to get vaccinated against COVID-19?
  • Can employees take paid time off if they feel unwell after being vaccinated?
  • Can an employee refuse to attend the workplace because a co-worker isn’t vaccinated against coronavirus?


Is a Public Health order a law?

Yes, is it for the time period that it is valid and active.


Can you refuse entry or service to a person lawfully?

Yes, as you have the right to decide who can enter your business.


When does the current state of emergency end?

The state of emergency ends on 21 October and this is expected to be extended in the next few days.


I am struggling to pay my rent, is there any assistance?

Yes please go to this website www.vsbc.vic.gov.au or call

13 87 22. On offer is low cost or free dispute resolution.


Legally will we be covered if we refuse unvaccinated clients?

Business have the right to refuse entry and services to clients, however it is important to understand the discrimination laws in Australia.


This is an explanation regarding discrimination concerning vaccination questions:

https://www.humanrights.vic.gov.au/resources/explainer-mandatory-covid-19-vaccinations-and-your-rights/


Here is information regarding your rights and responsibilities for tenants and landlords

https://www.vsbc.vic.gov.au/your-rights-and-responsibilities/retail-tenants-and-landlords/#section1


Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment information

 https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/pandemic-leave-disaster-payment


Victorian Department of Health free webinar: Answering your vaccine questions 

https://vimeo.com/628571437


QUESTIONS FOR WHICH WE ARE CURRENTLY AWAITING ANSWERS:

  • What are the liability issues regarding non-vaccinated workers and customers that infect vaccinated people in your place of business?
  • Private health insurance - Will policies include cover for non-vaccinated people? 
  • We need clearer directions on how to deal with all orders, mandates and regulations that are released from government. When will we have more clarity on these matters?
  • Are the current health measures legally enforceable at the moment or do they require additional legislation to cover businesses?
  • There are concerns regarding abuse and verbal altercations from clients and staff over vaccine mandates, will business get financial support for added security costs?
  • There is currently disjointed and confusing communications from government, conflicting information and it often not up to date on government websites. Can we have a dedicated information portal and an email sign up for automatic updates?
  • In industries with younger workers - 70% of people under 35 may not have had access to vaccination (if they choose it) by the time of reopening, what provisions are being made for this?
  • Reopening and getting back to normal workflow and cashflow will be slow as our workforce has almost halved due to extended lockdowns. Business need cashflow support, will more be available soon? 
  • Training and re-skilling – Professionals have our industry, we need grants and programs for training to re-skill and up-skill people. Will this be considered?
  • What plans are in place to stimulate the economy and our industry in particular, can beauty and aesthetics have access to the “government stimulus vouchers” for clients, to boost the cashflow in our industry?
  • Businesses may require financial and business advice as a result of being in closure due to COVID lockdowns, will there be government funding for this?
  • Businesses need specific and complete guidance regarding how to assist, negotiate and communicate with staff that decide not to become vaccinated, when will this be released?
  • We require more certainty around the timeframes for the PHO – how long will the order that requires the Hairdressing, Beauty and Personal Care professionals to be fully vaccinated in order to work be in place?

If you have a question that has not been asked or answered in this blog please email us on [email protected]

Stefanie Milla

ABIC CEO

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