What do COVID-19 Stage 4 restrictions mean for Melbourne architects?

Aug 4, 2020
  • Article by Tili Bensley-Nettheim

On Monday 3 August, the Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews announced that COVID-19 Stage 4 restrictions will be applied to the Melbourne area.

The Association of Consulting Architects Australia (ACA) have released an explanation of how these upgraded restrictions will impact architecture firms based in Victoria.

From 11.59pm Wednesday 5 August, it is not permitted for practices to operate from within their normal workplace. There is no stated restriction on individual employees operating from their place of residence.

Should it not be possible for employees to operate from home and they are not on the JobKeeper program, it is permissible for employers to stand down those employees as a direct consequence of the Victorian Government’s instruction.

No statement has been issued restricting architects travelling to construction sites to undertake necessary works, as long as their presence does not exceed the total number of permitted persons on that site.

Note that construction sites outside the Melbourne area are now under Stage 3 restrictions, which does not limit the number of persons on the site. 

In the circumstance that a construction site to which an employee is travelling is further than 5km from an employee’s home, it is recommended that employees carry written authorisation from their employer relevant to that site and to that day. The wearing of masks, physical distancing and sanitising practices must be observed on site as they are elsewhere. 

Construction sites must have in place a COVIDSafe plan by 1:59pm Friday 7th August. Remember, before going on site, please ask to see their COVIDSafe plan. Worksafe Victoria are being vigilant through the COVID-19 pandemic and have added extra inspectors. OHS is for all of us; if the site has no plan, then don’t attend.

For further information on permitted and non-permitted business operation, refer to the Department of Health and Human Services and specifically the Guide for Business – Stage 4 restrictions.

Check out the ACA’s latest ‘pulse check’ findings to learn how architecture firms are dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on their pipeline of work.

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