Abattoirs may be in restrictions spotlight

Victorian government to introduce workplace changes to combat coronavirus

Coronavirus
NEW RESTRICTIONS: The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced stricter measures to combat coronavirus.

NEW RESTRICTIONS: The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced stricter measures to combat coronavirus.

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Some Victorian businesses may have to reduce staff numbers, to help combat COVID-19.

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Abattoirs and meat processing plants may have their output reduced, in strict new stage four coronavirus guidelines announced by the state government.

Premier Dan Andrews yesterday announced a State of Disaster - which includes strict lockdown rules for Melbourne and stage three restrictions for regional Victoria.

Read more:

COVID restrictions tighten in regional Victoria

As of yesterday, the total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Victoria stood at 11,557 with 671 new cases diagnosed since Saturday.

Mr Andrews said the government's latest response to coronavirus would come in two parts.

"Today is about announcing restrictions about how we live, tomorrow will be how we work," Mr Andrews said.

"If we don't make these changes, we are not going to get through this.

"Anything short of this will not keep us safe, anything short of this and it will drag on, for months and months and months.

"We need to come down hard on this."

Mr Andrews said there was "a power of work" being done around workplaces.

"These changes are about making sure we limit movement, so we have less people moving around."

Abattoirs and meat processing plants have been linked to a significant number of coronavirus cases.

Read more:

Victorian meatworks coronavirus cases grow

German research shows coronavirus can travel further than first thought

Victoria's biggest abattoir has been cleared to reopen

As of yesterday:

  • 142 cases have been linked to Bertocchi Smallgoods in Thomastown
  • 127 cases have been linked to Somerville Retail Services in Tottenham
  • 85 cases have been linked to JBS in Brooklyn
  • 72 cases have been linked to Australian Lamb Company in Colac

Brooklyn's Cedar Meats will not re-open tomorrow, after another worker tested positive, at the site.

A spokeswoman said about 350 staff were being tested.

"Cedar won't reopen tomorrow as we don't have all the test results back,' the spokeswoman said.

"One person has tested positive - there is no further update to that at this stage."

She said it was hoped the tests results would be known tomorrow.

Read more:

Brooklyn's Cedar Meats staff are in isolation after another worker was diagnosed with coronavirus

Mr Andrews flagged would be some significant changes Victorian businesses, under new rules to be announced on Tuesday.

"I will have more to say about different industries," he said.

"There will three categories, business as usual - and I want to assure all Victorians, supermarkets, the butcher, the baker, food, beverages, groceries, those types of settings - there will be no impact there.

"In terms of a number of other industries, they will be reducing their total output - that will mean there are less people working less shifts

"That will mean there will be less contact, that means there will be less seeding of this virus within families, and from families into the community."

Other businesses would have to shut down completely.

Mr Andrews said there would be a "lead-in", until midnight on Wednesday, at which time the workplace restrictions would take place.

"There will be some businesses that will continue, there will be some that have to reduce the amount of work they do, the amount of output, the amount of workers, therefore the amount of risk."

Mr Andrews said there were a lot of national issues at play, when it came to Victorian businesses.

"We have the biggest container port in the country and what gets turned off here will have a direct impact on nation, across the region and the world."

He said there was a degree of complexity, and authorities needed to make sure they didn't make decisions which had unintended consequences.

"These are very detailed supply chains, and there is a good deal of complexity involved."

The Premier said their couldn't be a static response, to a dynamic problem, which was what coronavirus was.

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