News & Views

16th September 2021

Urgent changes to COVID rules for the Construction Sector

Update: NECA has been able to clarify hot off the process with Government that some of the wording in today's announcements - particularly around the 10km restriction on Construction work travel, will be clarified tomorrow. However, for avoidance of doubt, the 10km rule is not intended to apply to Construction workers. Travel is not allowed between Regional and Metro Victoria, including for any projects on the borders. More discussions will continue overnight and tomorrow around clarification around the notion of potentially creating metro/regional 'bubbles', but this cannot be confirmed at this stage. As things stand no cross boundary travel is allowed, including for specialist roles.

At today's press conference, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced several changes to Victorian COVID restrictions for Metro Melbourne and Regional Victoria, including some signficant changes for the construction sector. 

From 11.59pm Friday 17 September, construction sector workers will no longer be allowed to travel between Metro Melbourne and Regional Victoria for work.

As it will almost certainly affect some of our members, we have already asked and established that Geelong is NOT considered part of Metro Melbourne, so will be affected by this restriction.

The other main change is that vaccination is now mandatory for construction workers. 

The deadline for getting a first dose of vaccine is next Thursday, 23 September. After that date, if you cannot provide proof of at least that first dose, you will not be allowed on site.

As we announced yesterday, priority bookings have been opened for construction workers and dedicated walk-in times are available at five vaccination hubs.  More details here.

Daniel Andrews says there will be some limited medical exemptions and possible exemptions if you can show you have booked an appointment (in line with previous requirements for residential aged care workers), but: "That industry needs to take this seriously."
In addition, tea rooms on site will need to close and food and drink are no longer allowed to be consumed indoors at work.