Everyone is trying to get the balance right; and everyone has an opinion about where that balance is. We have different rules in Victoria to every other state in Australia. Here, we can’t visit direct family members unless for health reasons. In fact, we have quite tight restrictions on even leaving our homes. Just 4 valid reasons (under Stage 3) to be exact:
- shopping for what you need – food and essential supplies
- medical, care or compassionate needs
- exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements
- work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely
After some significant push-back a couple of days ago, the Premier backed off the enforcement of couples not being able to visit each other – the so called “bonking rule”.
Some things are becoming clearer, some still not so much. In the process, we have all learned a bit more about our different levels of government. Our Prime Minister makes an announcement as to new rules and then our Premier announces a different application of those rules. Who is right? Well of course, the answer is, it depends. Most health laws are still controlled by the States.
So, Victoria? Well, you can’t drive down to the beach house (or the beach) for a break. But you can move down there, in which case it becomes your new “premises” from which you may not leave without reasonable reason. You can’t visit a relative for social reasons; but you can visit if there are only two of you and it is for the purpose of exercise (say, a streamed Pilates class). You can inspect a home to rent or purchase, but only two people, including the agent, can be in a “single, undivided indoor space”. So, inspections are permitted, but only one person at a time in any single room.
In a real bonus for part-time employees, even if you are working just one day a week, the Commonwealth has announced that EVERY permanent employee working as at 1st March, will be entitled to $750 per week, providing their employer is entitled to the JobSeeker payments (which requires a 30% drop in business for most). The same amount whether you were earning $200 per week before, or $2,000. Hats off to the Federal Government for the lifeline thrown to business this week, which has enabled our firm to reinstate some and cancel planned stand-down’s as the economy cycles down (to “hibernation”). Our entire workforce is now intact and we are grateful. Credit where credit is due.