Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updates and resources

Border Restrictions Update with Victoria

Issued Wednesday 9 June 2021

Update 
ACT  People entering from Victoria must follow Victorian ‘Stay at Home’ rules. Non-ACT residents must obtain an exemption to enter. Non-ACT residents who have been at a Close Contact Point (www.covid19.act.gov.au/updates/covid-19-areas-of-concern) must not enter ACT without an exemption. ACT has extended provisions for 7 days
New South Wales  People entering NSW from Victoria must follow Victorian circuit breaker rules while in NSW. Border bubble in place www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/border-restrictions. Extended for 7 days. If been to place of high concern-close contact https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Documents/interstate-concerns-notice.pdf (NEW) must not enter NSW. A person who has been to a place of high concern–casual contact must not enter NSW until they have a negative COVID test and self isolate for 14 days. New exemption for border residents from the ‘stay at home’ provisions
Northern Territory  Regional Victorian LGAs removed from list of hotspots at 6:00pm 8 June 2021. Check LGAs here: coronavirus.nt.gov.au/travel/quarantine/hotspots-covid-19#hotspots
Queensland  Regional Victoria to be removed from list of COVID-19 hotspots for entry to Qld from 0100 Fri June 11. Greater Melbourne still not allowed entry. Some exemptions, hotel quarantine requirements. www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/border-restrictions
Tasmania  No entry from Victoria except for essential travellers and Tasmanian residents – quarantine restrictions apply. coronavirus.tas.gov.au/travellers-and-visitors/coming-to-tasmania/travel-alert
South Australia  SA border closed to all of Victoria with the exception of essential travellers and permitted arrivals (14 day self quarantine requirements) and people living within 70kms of the border. Border crossings limited to 8 roads. www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities/travel-restrictions
Western Australia  Travel from Victoria is not permitted except if exempt. www.wa.gov.au/government/announcements/wa-introduces-hard-border-victoria#quarantine

COVID-19 update: Restrictions easing

Issued Wednesday 9 June 2021

Today, the Acting Victorian Premier announced that from 11:59pm Thursday 10 June, Metropolitan Melbourne will move to most of the same settings currently in place across regional Victoria, and regional Victoria will move towards further easing.

Statement from The Acting Victorian Premier >
Updated table of restrictions >

The following applies for Melbourne metropolitan:

  • Masks remain mandatory for indoor settings
  • Masks will no longer be required outdoors unless you cannot maintain a 1.5 metre distance
  • An expanded 25km radius has been introduced, with the only exceptions for travelling further include essential work, education, caregiving or vaccination. Travel into regional Victoria still remains a no go for now.
  • Groups of up to 10 people can gather outdoors but no visitors to to the home
  • Retail can reopen with density limit of 1 person per 4 sqm
  • QR requirements mandatory in all retail settings
  • QR code check-ins will be made compulsory for all workplaces, with very limited exemptions, implementation details will be finalised next week ahead of the requirements coming into effect. Asking people to work from home where they can.
  • Schools resume face-to-face learning from Friday 10 June
  • Restaurants and cafes can reopen for seated service with up to 100 people per venue and a maximum of 50 inside.

Please note changes to Regional Victoria:

  • Visits to the home are allowed for two adults per day, plus their dependents
  • Public outdoor gatherings increased to 20 people
  • Travel within regional Victoria remains permitted

Please ensure your COVID-Safe Plan and QR Code is in place and follow the VIC Health guidance.

Free Victorian QR Code Service >

Posters
Download COVID-Safe poster 
Download COVID-Safe mask poster 

AMIC will continue to keep all members updated on any changes and restrictions.

Vaccination update – www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine

  • Victorians aged 40 years and over are now eligible for vaccinations
  • The vaccination hotline – 1800 675 398  -is the main way to book an appointment and congestion is easing on this hotline
  • People aged 50 and over can also book at their GP using the Australian Government Eligibility Checker
  • There are now more than 40 sites across Victoria, many with walk-up capability
  • There is no timeline yet for other ages and workplace cohorts.

COVID-19 update: Additional industry obligations for abattoir and meat processing facilities

Issued Thursday 3 June 2021

A Meat Industries Stakeholder Engagement Forum was held yesterday early evening by Agriculture Victoria. The forum advised on the following additional industry obligations for abattoirs, meat, poultry and seafood processors, to take effect from 11.59pm Thursday 3 June 2021.

Covid Marshals

 Previous PPE guidance

  • Victorian abattoir and meat processing facilities must enforce the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) by workers on site.
  • A surgical mask is required and, if practical and safe, a face shield and gown.
  • This PPE must be made available by the employer, with facilities expected to maximise the PPE for each worker as appropriate for their role to keep them safe and help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Staff must use the PPE provided by their employer to ensure adequate protection.
  • The PPE requirements apply to all abattoirs (beef, pork, lamb) and further meat processors, such as small goods manufacturers, poultry processing facilities and seafood processing facilities.
  • The same PPE requirements for abattoirs and meat processing facilities apply in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.
  • The business’ COVIDSafe Plan document should outline how they will ensure workers wear the appropriate level of PPE in the workplace (e.g. at a minimum a surgical mask is required and, if practical and safe, a face shield and gown).

It is understood that there are certain settings in which wearing a face shield and gown can be a safety risk. For example:

  • The killing floor or evisceration tables where face shields or goggles may fog up due to heat and moisture in the area
  • When using hot water, such as washing down equipment, that may also cause face shields or goggles to fog up.

To assist the enforcement of the wearing of appropriate PPE by workers on site, the employer should:

  • Provide information, instruction, training and supervision to employees and contractors on the correct use and disposal of PPE (including during breaks) – this should include how to put on (don) and take off (doff) PPE
  • Ensure that adequate PPE supplies are available to maximise the PPE for each worker as appropriate for their role
  • Consider additional hazards created by poorly fitting PPE (e.g. mask ties that dangle or catch, PPE that is loose and requires frequent adjustment or tends to fall off) with respect to the work environment (e.g. machinery in which PPE could get caught).

Given the nature of work in abattoirs and meat processing facilities, the appropriate level of PPE for workers in the workplace will be dependent upon:

  • the work task being undertaken
  • the nature of the equipment being used
  • any food contamination risk resulting from the use of PPE
  • any other factors specific to the work area
  • other control measure in places to decrease transmission, such as screens.
  • Where practicable, development of PPE requirements for a particular work area should be undertaken with input from employees and their representatives.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact James Hider on 0418 387 829 or [email protected]

AMIC will continue to keep all members updated on any changes and restrictions.

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
Issued Monday 12 April 2021

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have released a statement regarding their concerns in relation to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

ATAGI is the body that provides technical advice to the Federal Minister for Health on the medical administration of vaccines available in Australia.

Their health advice to the Minister and to the Australian public regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine has changed.

Due to further evidence regarding rare but serious side effects, ATAGI are now recommending their preference be given to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine over AstraZeneca’s for a large portion of the country’s population, particularly people under the age of 50.

The Federal Government have accepted this and has stated that as a consequence this will delay the plan to vaccinate Australians against the virus.

State and Territory Departments of Health have stated that they are currently reviewing their COVID-19 vaccine rollout programs.

Summary

  • ATAGI notes further evidence of a rare but serious side effect involving thrombosis (clotting) with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count) following receipt of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
  • ATAGI recommends that the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer (Comirnaty) is preferred over COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in adults aged under 50 years. This recommendation is based on the increasing risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 in older adults (and hence a higher benefit from vaccination) and a potentially increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following AstraZeneca vaccine in those under 50 years. 
  • COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca can be used in adults aged under 50 years where the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks for that individual and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits. 
  • People who have had the first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca without any serious adverse effects can be given the second dose, including adults under 50 years. 

The full details of the ATAGI statement are contained in the following link:

https://www.health.gov.au/news/atagi-statement-on-astrazeneca-vaccine-in-response-to-new-vaccine-safety-concerns

Keep monitoring the Department of Health website as the science develops for the latest medical advice.

COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance Information
Issued Tuesday 22 February 2021

AMIC has confirmed with the Federal and State Governments, that meat processing workers are included in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccine priority rollout. This inclusion is noted within their national rollout strategy as: Critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing.

Independent retail butcher workers are contained in Phase 2a and categorised as ‘Other critical and high risk workers’.

The rollout of the vaccine commenced this week for Phase 1a, and it is expected that Phase 1b recipients will commence late March 2021 at the earliest, with Phase 2a following thereafter subject to vaccine availability. 

This provides sufficient time for the meat industry to prepare for the vaccination process, but also to be clear about what are the roles and responsibilities of the Government, employers, workers and others.

The below link provides a detailed outline of guidance information, which also includes answers to the most frequently asked questions, which has been provided by the relevant government departments.

COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance Information >

Social Distancing

One way to slow the spread of the virus is social distancing.

We have compiled the guidelines from the Australian Government Department of Health website on social distancing, and created a poster for you to download and put up in your business. Together we can help to stop the spread of the virus.

The material on this webpage has been compiled from both State and Federal government sources. It does not constitute legal advice or recommendations and should not be relied upon as such. Appropriate legal advice should be sought that reflects your individual circumstances.

AMIC works on behalf of its members to effect change in areas that impact their businesses including energy efficiency; food regulation; market access; animal welfare; and access to labour.

© 2020 Australian Meat Industry Council.  All rights reserved

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