Since mid-March, Victorians have been following strict advice from the state government about when and how we can leave our homes. The ‘stay at home’ restrictions initially limited all trips outside the house to four reasons: to seek medical help, to work (if unable to do so from home), to exercise and to buy essential supplies. On May 11, a fifth reason was added to this list: you could leave home to visit someone socially.
But from June 1, the Victorian government will no longer be giving Victorians a definitive list of reasons to leave their homes. Instead, a statement from premier Daniel Andrews released today urges Victorians to be smart. “We’ll be asking people to use that same common sense – and that same sense of community – in the weeks and months to come.”
However, Andrews has stressed that some measures must stay the same – primarily in regards to people working from home. “If you’re currently working from home – you must keep working from home,” he said. The reason for this is because we still need to limit the number of people moving around, taking public transport and using shared workspaces.
Previously, it was up to the employer to facilitate Victorians working from home. “But going forward – and in light of new evidence indicating increased activity – the obligation for employers to keep their staff working from home will now be included in the chief health officer’s directions.”
Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton said that the lower the number of people on our trains, trams and buses, the safer the population will be. Plus, if people decide to drive to work instead of taking public transport, this would put increased pressure on our roads and lead to increased commute times.
The premier said there is no set timeline on when this work from home guidance will change, however, it’s likely it will be in place until at least the end of June.