Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ August 2nd announcement of a ‘state of disaster’ for Victoria comes with new lockdown rules for the next six weeks.
In Melbourne, this includes a nighttime curfew from 8 pm to 5 am. According to the Premier’s statement, ‘The only reasons to leave home during these hours will be work, medical care and caregiving.’
The restrictions would also mean that Melbourne residents can only leave home once a day for essentials such as food or medicine, and once for an hour of exercise; with both of these to be within 5km from home.
What does this mean for Victorian child care centres?
Child care services operating in the 31 designated metropolitan local areas across Melbourne can remain open but only for the children of permitted workers and vulnerable children who cannot learn at home. All other children are expected to stay home.
‘We know this will be a significant ask of parents with little ones – and big ones too,’ said the Premier in his statement. ‘But I promise, as a parent to three, it’s an ask I don’t make lightly.’
The changes are in place for six weeks until Sunday 13 September, taking children to the end of term 3. ‘As always, we’ll keep reviewing and realigning the restrictions in line with the advice of our health experts – and if we can change things earlier, we will.’
For regional Victoria, stage 3 restrictions will be in place from midnight on Wednesday, August 5th. This means that students at school will move to remote learning, but early learning centres will remain open.
Who is considered a permitted worker?
While the premier didn’t define what a ‘permitted worker’ was, he is expected to clarify further early this week. However, the list of jobs that are covered by this is expected to be tighter than the last lockdown.
Speaking about early education specifically, Education Minister James Merlino advised that ‘Most young kids will be at home. The only kids on-site will be those of defined workers or very vulnerable kids.’
At this stage, the Victorian premier has yet to define the list of ‘permitted workers’. Parents will need to wait for this information to be released to find out whether they are eligible to continue to send their children to child care in Melbourne.
More to come.
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