The Victorian Government has imposed new restrictions on certain freight & logistics activities including warehousing and distribution, and introduced special provisions for truck drivers.
The Victorian Government has announced that on-site business activity across Melbourne is now limited to permitted industries under Stage 4 restrictions, to reduce movement across the city and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). These restrictions impose workforce reductions on certain businesses including warehousing and distribution.
Trucking movements and other freight activities are not tied to the restrictions on workforce numbers applied to warehouses and distribution centres. The new restrictions include stop provision exclusively for long haul drivers who can dine in a dedicated section of the truck stop dining area, as long as the physical distancing four-square metre rule is observed.
The Victorian Premier has said his Government has worked closely with businesses, industry groups and unions in developing the guidelines. After they issued a media release, Business Activity Directions Come Into Effect, peak logistics industry associations attended a meeting hosted by state Department of Transport to discuss the impact on the freight, logistics and supply chain sector.
Victorian warehouse and distribution need to adopt the following restrictions:
- Enact a High Risk COVID Safe Plan focused on safety, prevention and response if coronavirus cases are linked to their workplace.
- Reduce the number of people in the workplace.
- Increase the regularity of deep cleaning
- Enforce the wearing of face coverings by staff on site
- Where practicable COVID Safe Plans should be designed with input from employees and their representatives
- Specified worksites must not operate with more than 67% of their daily peak and daily total workforce.
The reduction of the number of people in the workplaces will impact the movement of shipping containers and cargo for import and export. The government has recognised the vital role of the transport industry and wants to minimise the disruption to state and national supply chains, and may be forced to make changes if these are significantly impacted.
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