THE state government is cracking down on businesses who aren’t checking the addresses of customers when taking bookings.

From midnight tonight (Sunday, October 11), this requirement will be made even stronger, with businesses who “consciously fail” to check their customers are not from metropolitan Melbourne facing fines of up to $9913, the state government announced today.

“This check could be achieved by asking customers to show their driver’s license or Keypass ID,” the government said.

“Regional businesses who do the right thing but are misled by someone intent on breaking the rules will not be fined under the changes. Instead, individuals found deliberately ignoring the restrictions will risk a fine of $1652. Melburnians who are found in regional Victoria without a valid reason face fines of up to $4957.

“With these changes, we’re giving regional businesses the confidence that they are doing everything they can to keep their staff and customers safe.”

 

Day 11 test for close contacts

 

Close contacts of people with coronavirus will be asked to get tested on day 11 of quarantine to help reduce the spread of the virus, the state government announced today.

From 11.59pm tonight (Sunday, October 11), those identified as close contacts by the Department of Health and Human Services must get tested on day 11 or thereafter of their quarantine period, or they will have their quarantine extended.

“Getting tested on day 11 of quarantine helps accurately identify whether it is safe for the close contact to be released from quarantine, without the risk of infecting other people,” the state government said.

“If the test is negative, the person will receive a notice of clearance from the department, likely on or after day 14. If the test is positive, the department will contact the person with further advice.”

In the limited circumstances where a close contact does not agree to take the coronavirus test, they will remain in quarantine for a total of 24 days from their last exposure to the virus to ensure public health is maintained.

Often people have coronavirus without any symptoms, and close contacts are one of the highest risk groups for infection.

Close contacts are identified by the department’s contact tracing teams, after they determine who a positive case has been in contact with while they were infectious.

All close contacts are contacted by the department and are required to quarantine at a designated address, undertake the day 11 test, and await formal clearance before being released from quarantine.

People working in targeted industries who undertake surveillance testing are not required to isolate, unless they are feeling unwell or have been directed to quarantine or isolate by the department.

“As we’ve seen throughout this pandemic, businesses in regional Victoria are doing incredible work – keeping detailed records, implementing COVID-safe plans and encouraging symptomatic staff to get tested straightaway,” the government said.

“All of these efforts are helping to keep their staff, customers and communities safe.

“To ensure current directions can remain in place to protect Victorians, the state of emergency and the state of disaster will also be extended from 11.59pm on 11 October 2020 until 11:59pm on 8 November.

“Victoria Police continues to enforce the Chief Health Officer’s directions and can issue on the spot fines for breaches of stay at home directions. This includes up to $1652 for individuals and up to $9913 for businesses.

“Under the directions, people who don’t comply could also be taken to court and receive a fine of up to $20,000. Companies face fines of up to $100,000.”

Further details on 11-day testing can be found at dhhs.vic.gov.au/self-quarantine-coronavirus-covid-19.