HIGH-RISK businesses and industries in Bass Coast are this week being targeted for COVID-safe checks, the state government announced this morning (Thursday, April 1).

Authorities, as part of the High-Risk Industry Engagement and Enforcement Operation, will also be focusing on the Mornington Peninsula, East Gippsland and Yarra Ranges this week – before moving on to the Surf Coast, Geelong, Glenelg, Bellarine Peninsula, Colac-Otway, Warrnambool, Ballarat, Alpine, Hepburn and Grampians regions.

The state government’s High-Risk Industry Engagement and Enforcement Operation will be visiting an additional 500 businesses each week for the next three weeks – taking the total number of sites checked during the blitz to 3900.

The operation is beginning with seafood, meat and poultry businesses this week in the lead up to Easter, as well as supermarkets.

This will include a focused strategy for the Queen Victoria Market to coincide with expected large crowd numbers before Good Friday – with follow-up visits with businesses previously identified as non-compliant.

Authorised officers will check the business has an up-to-date COVID-safe plan and that their QR code system is operating and being used properly by staff and customers.

If issues are identified during the inspection, authorised officers will work with the business to fix the problem and make sure they know their obligations under the Chief Health Officer’s directions.

A range of retail, hospitality and licensed venues will also be a focus of the three-week strategy. Other businesses and industries the operation will be working with include hospitality, warehousing and distribution centres and commercial cleaning services.

With Victorians encouraged to holiday locally, Airbnb has reported a surge in bookings between April 2 and 9. This data will be used to target locations with high numbers of visitors.

To date, there have been more than 15,500 coronavirus-related physical visits carried out across regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne, along with nearly 7000 virtual enquiries. This has resulted in a total of 825 coronavirus-related compliance notices being issued.