Restrictions on the property and construction sector have been eased further, but uncertainty remains over exactly what this means for the sector.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has unveiled a two-stage round of further easing of COVID-related restrictions.
Of these, the first steps took place on midnight Sunday whilst further steps will happen on midnight on Sunday November 1 but may happen sooner depending on virus progress.
As far as the construction sector is concerned, the most significant change immediately is that groups of up to five workers allowed to return onsite for certain low risk categories of work.
This includes non-essential home maintenance and repairs (outdoors only) and solar panel installation as well as car washing, mobile pet grooming, outdoor photography and letterboxing.
However, those who can work from home will need to continue to do so.
For those going on site, worker permits are still required.
Uncertainty remains, however, about whether or not the number of workers who are allowed on construction sites will be increased to 100 percent of its baseline workforce (currently, up to 85 percent of the baseline workforce are allowed on large construction sites) or what if anything the changes mean for movement between worksites.
Groups such as UDIA Victoria are seeking clarification on these issues.
In property and real-estate, meanwhile, outdoor auctions are now permitted with a limited of ten members of the public plus the minimum number of people who are required to conduct the auction whilst private inspections of residential or commercial property or display homes can occur with one agent and one prospective purchaser or tenant.
Regional Victorian property owners can travel from metro Melbourne to regional for fire or flood preparedness; council issued permits will be required and can be sought from Wednesday.
Meanwhile, residents in Melbourne have been granted a welcome reprieve in some social restrictions.
For Melbourne residents, the distance which people may travel for exercise, social interaction or obtaining necessary goods or services has been increased from five kilometres to 25 kilometres.
As well, outdoor gatherings of up to ten people from up to two households are allowed in public places, whilst there have been easing of restrictions on outdoor sport and recreation.
When the full third step of easing occurs on November 1, meanwhile, the ‘stay at home’ ruling will be replaced by a stay safe ruling and there will be no restrictions on reasons to leave home.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the steps represented a safe and steady approach.
“I understand that for some these changes won’t be enough. They’ll want more – and they’ll want it sooner,” Andrews said.
“But the whole way through this, we have been guided by our public health experts and their advice.
“None of us ever want to do this again.
“We have come too far – sacrificed too much – to give up now. We are so close.
“These are the safe, steady steps that will see us out of this – and see us through to the other side.
“We can do this.”