30 June 2020 / COVID-19

QLD-VIC Border Restrictions Tightening

The QLD Premier and Deputy QLD Premier just spoke to the media regarding QLD restrictions & border closures:

  • Moving toward some aspects of Stage 3 as of this Friday, 3 July (brought forward by one week)
  • Weddings, funerals, gyms and private gatherings will be allowed 100 people
  • Ordering at bars, pubs, clubs, cafes etc allowed - no limit on numbers for venues provided they have space for 4m2 per person
  • Contact sports and spectators, no limits with social distancing if outdoors
  • Stadiums – 50% of capacity or 25,000 max, whichever is lower
  • 1 person per 2m2 for smaller businesses (cap of 50)
  • 1 person per 4m2 for casinos / concert venues / theatres
  • Need to ensure social distancing is maintained everywhere – 1.5m between groups of people
  • Borders – QLD is concerned about Victoria, 250 cases in the last 7 days, there is community transmission
  • QLD border will remain closed to Victoria with tougher measures in place from this Friday, 3 July
  • Anyone travelling from VIC (even Queenslanders) from this Friday, 3 July will have to quarantine on arrival for 2 weeks in a hotel at own expense or be turned back
  • QLD is helping VIC get the virus under control but doesn’t want the risk coming here - overall message: Queenslanders do not go to Victoria, Victorians do not come here
  • From Friday July 10, people from TAS, WA, SA, NT, ACT, NSW will be able to travel into QLD again
  • Everyone travelling to QLD will have to fill in a border declaration and obtain a border pass to ensure they haven’t been in VIC in the past 14 days
  • People lying or falsifying info will face significant fines
  • If the Chief Health Officer identifies hotspots with community transmission, they will take similar actions towards those states/areas

The VIC Premier has just announced the following:

  • Lockdowns back in place for 10 postcodes as of Wednesday 11.59pm – 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3047, 3055, 3060, 3064 – for 4 weeks
  • People in those postcodes will only have four reasons to leave their homes: for work or school, for care or caregiving, for daily exercise, or to get food and other essentials
  • People outside these postcodes should not enter them unless it is work and only work that needs to be done in person
  • Door-to-door testing will continue throughout suburbs
  • Police will be actively enforcing lockdown in these suburbs in boozebus style set ups and randomly/frequently asking people who are out what they are doing
  • People not following orders will be fined on the spot
  • Businesses and people will be supported by the government in these postcodes
  • VIC Premier has asked to divert all international flights away from Melbourne for 2 weeks, for the purpose of not having any more people entering hotel quarantine in Victoria for the next 2 weeks
  • The outbreak is predominantly linked to staff in hotel quarantine breaching well-known and well-understood infection control protocols. A judicial inquiry will take place to investigate
  • This needs to be done to ensure other areas do not have to be locked down (eg. Melbourne CBD)

Full list of suburbs:

  • Postcode 3012: Brooklyn, Kingville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray.
  • Postcode 3021: Alban Vale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans.
  • Postcode 3032: Ascot Vale, High Point City, Maribyrnong, Travancore.
  • Postcode 3038: Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens.
  • Postcode 3042: Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie.
  • Postcode 3046: Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park.
  • Postcode 3047: Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana.
  • Postcode 3055: Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West.
  • Postcode 3060: Fawkner.
  • Postcode 3064: Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickleham, Roxburgh Park and Kalkallo.

The Border Restrictions Direction No. 5 (effective 01 May 2020) remains in place as is for QLD.

Currently, under this Direction, QLD residents flying to VIC for work and then returning to QLD are exempt from border restrictions and forced quarantine.

However, the QLD Government may update this and provide a new Direction in the coming days, to reflect the QLD-VIC border closure. This could change the exemption rules but there is no further information available at this time.

QLD has put out a new Direction that will take effect as of this Friday (tomorrow) noon, 10 July 2020.

In brief:

  • It allows people from other states and territories to enter the state without having to undertake mandatory quarantine, provided they:
    • Have a valid Queensland Border Declaration Pass (must be applied for within 7 days of the travel to QLD), which will include:
      • A declaration that they have not been overseas / a COVID-19 hotspot / had contact with a confirmed case / had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 / been diagnosed with COVID-19
      • Providing personal details including name, date of birth, phone number, address and email address, and where the person intends to stay while in Queensland
    • Provide an undertaking that the person will present for a COVID-19 test if the person develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of entering Queensland

Regarding any travel from any part of Victoria (or other COVID-19 hotspots as they are identified by the QLD Govt):

  • The QLD Govt has hardened their approach with this new border declaration, stating that anyone who has been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the 14 days prior to entering Queensland must not enter Queensland unless they are exempt. Exemptions are specified in the Direction and include QLD residents.
  • QLD residents who have been to VIC may enter the state, provided they undertake mandatory quarantine at a quarantine hotel at their own cost
  • The new Direction appears to have removed construction from what QLD considers ‘essential activity’, meaning that QLD residents who return to QLD after performing construction-related work in VIC would also have to enter mandatory quarantine.
  • This is a significant change to all previous QLD Directions throughout the pandemic in which construction has been considered essential and exempt from mandatory quarantine. I will confirm this once the Border Pass Declaration has been updated with the new particulars as of noon tomorrow.

Just to confirm below, there is now no provision for ‘construction’ or ‘FIFO’ under the exemptions list for people travelling from VIC into QLD. The wording of ‘time critical specialist’ has also been updated which no longer broadly covers people in the construction industry.

People from other states and territories may enter QLD without needing to quarantine now, provided they have a valid border pass and have not been in VIC in the last 14 days (or any of the reasons listed below).

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9 September / Observation

A conversation could change a life.

Today is a reminder of the importance to check in on each other and ask R U OK?

Each of us have experienced the COVID-19 pandemic differently, but it has had an impact on us all. Some of us have been unexpectedly caught behind interstate travel bans, some in extended lockdowns, some living in hotspots, some at home with their families and some away from them.

It has been a challenge for each of us to adjust to new rules and restrictions which we have never had to deal with before.

We have all adapted in our own way to help ourselves and others. We have all done our best despite much of what we knew before having changed in so many ways.

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25 August / Update

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31 July / COVID-19

Lockdown announced

On Saturday morning the Queensland Government announced a 3 day lockdown period for the local government areas (LGAs) of South East Queensland (incorporating Brisbane, Gold Coast, Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, Moreton Bay, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Lockyer Valley).

The lockdown has now been extended to 4pm Sunday, 8 August at this stage. It has been announced in response to a growing cluster which started with a high school student at Indooroopilly State High School.

The lockdown is also mandatory for anyone who has been in any of the 11x LGAs since 1am this morning and is now elsewhere.

The construction industry is still considered an essential service. Sites will remain open throughout the lockdown period at this stage. Read on for further information.

Stricter lockdown measures

The Queensland Government announced the strictest lockdown measures that the state has experienced so far, due to concern of the rapidly spreading Delta variant.

There are only four reasons to leave home during the lockdown:

  • To buy essential goods / groceries, but only within 10km of your usual place of residence. Supermarkets will be open during the lockdown period. 
  • To go to essential work / school. Childcare is open but only for children of essential workers.
  • For exercise outside, but only within 10km of your usual place of residence. Only allowed to do so with one other person from a different household.
  • For health care. You can leave to get medical care and you can provide care to someone. You can also leave home to get a COVID test or vaccine.

Additional stricter measures have also been introduced to help stop the spread:

  • No visitors allowed at home. The only exception is to care for someone who needs help, but it is recommended to delay if possible.
  • Funerals and weddings limited to 10 people.
  • Mask wearing continues to be mandatory across the 11x LGAs. You must wear a face mask at all times when you leave home, including outdoors and for exercise, unless you have a lawful reason not to.
  • Mask wearing will now be mandatory for everyone at high schools, including students, teachers and visitors in the 11x LGAs.
  • Non-essential businesses must close (eg gyms / hairdressers etc).
  • Restaurants, cafes and other hospitality venues can open but only to provide takeaway.

Hutchies' COVIDSafe sites

Construction remains essential in South East Queensland and it is important to ensure we are all working as hard as possible to keep it open in the face of ongoing outbreaks. All sites should urgently review the latest Hutchies' COVIDSafe Plan and ensure that their site is implementing the following at a minimum:

  • Regular cleaning of all site / office areas and high touch points
  • Mask wearing except when not safe to do so
  • Good hand hygiene
  • Maintaining 1.5m distance from others, including limiting numbers in hoists / lifts and crib / lunch rooms
  • Signing in using your sites' regular sign in process to provide contact details if required for contact tracing
  • Using video / teleconference software to hold meetings

Hutchies' offices in South East QLD

Everyone who works in Hutchies' offices across South East Queensland should be wearing a mask if they are working in an office during the lockdown period.

The Queensland Government has specified that people who can work from home should do so.

All face to face meetings in offices should be cancelled and replaced by video / teleconferences.

Hutchies' Toowong office

These instructions are particularly important in relation to the Toowong office.

The Toowong office is in very close proximity to the current outbreak.

If you can do your job from home, you must. You can go to the office to collect computer gear and anything else you might need to work from home during the lockdown period.

If you do need to go into the Toowong office, you must sign in using the Queensland Government QR code.

You must be wearing a mask at all times, including whilst seated. This is an important measure to stop the spread of airborne particles.

Exposure sites

The Queensland Government has provided an extensive list of exposure sites based on the movements of people who are linked to the Indooroopilly State High School cluster. More venues are expected to be added.

It is very important that anyone who is in, or has been in South East Queensland recently, checks the list daily.

If you have been to any of the venues of concern at the date and time identified, inform your Team Leader, get tested and follow the direction listed by Queensland Health.

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Edition 1

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22 July / COVID-19

Keeping people safe

We've made some updates to our COVIDSafe Plan to incorporate the latest requirements across Australia.

All of Hutchies' sites and offices must continue to implement the key COVIDSafe measures we've had in place over the last 12 months, in addition to the latest local state / territory requirements listed below.

Some of the critical aspects of our COVIDSafe plan being focsued on include:
  • Regular cleaning of all site / office areas and high touch points
  • Good hand hygiene
  • Maintaining 1.5m distance from others
  • Signing in to provide contact details if required for contact tracing

The updates we have incorporated into our latest plan (version 4) includes:

Mandatory Check In & Sign In 

It is a requirement for everyone entering a Hutchies site or office that they sign in using our own process (ie HammerTech or Visitor Register) and if mandatory in your local state, must also check in using the government issued QR code system to assist with contact tracing if required.

Mandatory Masks

Masks are mandated in several areas across Australia presently, including New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and parts of South East Queensland. Hutchies' preference is that everyone in these areas, or if you cannot socially distance, wear a mask at all times, when it is safe to do so. 

This plan must be available on your project and to your clients. You should familiarise yourself with the necessary measures and continue to implement all requirements, including completing our weekly COVIDSafe inspection checklists for sites and offices.

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