News National Victorian COVID-19 cases prompt delays to return-to-work plans

Victorian COVID-19 cases prompt delays to return-to-work plans

Public servants will continue to work at home for at least an extra week. ABC News: Patrick Rocca
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Plans to bring more Victorians back to work next week have been delayed as the state deals with the Black Rock cluster and a new mystery case.

Public servants were scheduled to return to work from Monday at 25 per cent capacity, while the private sector was set to be allowed to move from 25 per cent to 50 per cent.

The Government yesterday ordered a review of the workplace return plan in light of recent community transmission in Victoria and New South Wales.

“The public health advice has been to pause the changes for one further week,” Acting Premier Jacinta Allan said.

“They will provide further advice and information next week.”

A requirement for Victorian workers to wear face masks indoors, including in the workplace, was reinstated on New Year’s Eve.

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) yesterday said it was expecting the return-to-work date to be pushed back to early February.

“Whilst every employer wants their workers back into the office as soon as they can, the last week has shown us that probably caution is going to reign here and no-one wants to put anybody at risk,” CEO Paul Guerra said.

The MCG has been listed as a potential acquisition site for COVID-19 after a man attended day two of the Boxing Day Test and later tested positive to coronavirus.

The infection is being treated as a mystery case and authorities are working to find the source of the infection.

When asked whether the return-to-work schedule would be pushed back further, Acting Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said “we’ll just need to see what happens” with that case.

“We’ll revisit it each day and if it is possible to have more return to work, then we will,” Professor Cheng said.

“But it really depends on how things unfold with this.”