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Navigating Stage 4: which industries must shutdown?

Premier Daniel Andrews announced 3 categories of businesses that will apply during Stage 4 restrictions.

The Victorian government has announced new rules for the state’s businesses with tough new restrictions, in particular, applying in Melbourne.

There will be sweeping shutdowns for retail, manufacturing and professional services workplaces as well as tight restrictions on construction and transport.

Exemptions from the closures announced on Monday include: supermarkets, grocery, food and liquor shops; convenience stores; petrol stations; pharmacies; post offices; hardware, building and garden supplies shops retailing for trade; maternity supplies; motor vehicle parts for emergency repairs only.

ABF media

Retailers will also be able to work onsite for the purposes of fulfilling online orders.

Shopping centres will be allowed to open only to provide access to permitted retail.

‘Click and collect’ services will have to be delivered with strict safety protocols in place.

Hardware, building and garden supplies stores will be allowed to serve only trade customers in-store. Members of the public will have to rely on click and collect.

Personal care services including hairdressers will be closed, as will car washes and photographic film processors.

ABF media

Locksmiths, laundries and dry cleaners are exempt from the closures.

Warehouses and distribution centres will be limited to no more than two-thirds of their normal workforce onsite at any one time.

Cafes, pubs, restaurants

Accommodation businesses (except with specific exemptions) pubs, taverns, bars, clubs, nightclubs, and food courts will all be closed.

Workplaces that will be allowed to operate include those involved in: Cafes, restaurants (take away and delivery food services only); provision of meals on wheels for aged services; essential support to be provided for in-home support for aged services; boarding schools, residential colleges and university accommodation services; other essential services such as roadhouses, to comply with national heavy vehicle regulations.

ABF media


The new rules on the construction industry which will depend on the scale of the project, but all sites will need to have a High Risk COVID Safe Plan.

For large scale construction (any building project of more than three storeys excluding basement):

Building industry unites to oppose COVID-19 shutdown

There will be a maximum of 25 per cent of normal employees allowed on site.

  • workers will be allowed to attend only one site: and
  • shifts will not be allowed to cross over.

For small scale construction:

  • there will be a maximum of five workers allowed on site including supervisors.
  • workers will be allowed to attend only one site: and
  • shifts must not cross over.


A sweep of manufacturing businesses will no longer be able to be open.

Manufacturers that will have to close include: all fabricated metal products; furniture; textiles, leather, footwear, clothing and knitted products.

Many other manufacturers will be allowed to stay open but will have to operate under new restrictions. Food and beverage production was amongst those in that category.

There will be tough new rules on abattoirs requiring staggered shifts, fewer workers and the wearing of personal protective equipment.


Scenic and sightseeing transport will be banned.

Businesses that will be allowed to continue to have on-site workers include:

  • Rail transport (passenger and freight) – including rail yards
  • Water transport (passenger and freight) – including ports and Tasmanian shipping lines
  • Air Transport (passenger and freight)
  • Pipeline and other transport
  • Transport support services
  • Vehicle repair, servicing and maintenance
  • Towing services

Areas with specific rules include public transport, ride/share and taxis which will be available but only to support access to permitted services and provide transport for permitted workers.

Banking and finance

Businesses providing these services will not be allowed to have staff on-site:

  • Non-Depository Financing
  • Financial Asset Investing
  • Insurance and Superannuation Funds
  • Auxiliary Finance and Insurance Services

These services will be allowed to have staff on-site:

  • Bank branches
  • Critical banking services to support the provision of services, credit and payment facilities, including the functioning of all operational, treasury, distribution, reporting, communications, monitoring, maintenance, corporate, support and other functions.

Information, media and telecommunications.

The following businesses will be closed for on-site work:

  • Book Publishing
  • Directory and Mailing List Publishing
  • Other Publishing
  • Software Publishing
  • Motion Picture and Sound Recording Activities
  • Library and Other Information Services

The following industries will be allowed to open with a COVID-Safe Plan:

  • Telecommunications services
  • Newspaper and magazine publishing
  • Radio broadcasting
  • Television broadcasting
  • Internet publishing and broadcasting
  • Internet Service Providers, Web Search Portals and Data Processing Services
  • Production, broadcast and distribution of telecommunication and supporting infrastructure required to support critical functions, such as law enforcement, public safety, medical or other critical industries and where it cannot be undertaken virtually.
  • Screen production.

Professional, scientific, and technical services

The following businesses will be closed for on-site work:

  • Architectural, Engineering and Technical Services
  • Legal and Accounting Services
  • Advertising Services
  • Market Research and Statistical Services
  • Management and Related Consulting Services
  • Professional Photographic Services
  • Other Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
  • Computer System Design and Related Services

The following exemptions to on-site work will be allowed with a COVID-Safe Plan:

  • Involved in COVID-19 (e.g. MedTech research including vaccines)
  • Hazard monitoring and resilience
  • Biosecurity and public health
  • Medical or other research where Australia has a competitive advantage, and which cannot be shut down and requires on site attendance
  • Critical scientific facilities – for critical scientific experiments, labs, collections



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