“Victorian industry welcomes today’s announcement by the Victorian Government that close contacts of COVID cases in a number of industry sectors, which test negative, will be allowed to continue to work,” Tim Piper, the Victorian Head of the peak industry association Ai Group, said today.
“The changes are vital to support Victorian supply chains generally and importantly they will help keep supermarket shelves stocked. The changes are good news for business, their employees and the community.
“The numbers of workers being forced into isolation was becoming ridiculous. This is part of the solution to improving our supply chain and enabling essential services to be maintained.
“Especially welcome are announcements for the waste industry which would enable it, as an essential service, to continue to operate despite having many workers who would otherwise have been forced into isolation,” Mr Piper said
“However, concern remains regarding the unavailability of Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) for industry and a further requirement that workers be given solo break out areas.
“Currently, companies can’t comply with the requirement to have a RAT for all affected workers every day, for five days, because the tests are unavailable. The government has set down 19 January as the start date for this system. There will need to be a deluge of RATs available before then to enable compliance and help businesses to use the Orders.
“The State Government has listened to the concerns of both industry and the community and recognised that the empty shelf problem could only be solved by enabling more workers to stay engaged, provided that they were COVID negative,” Mr Piper said.