Victorians could be fined for going to work

Victorians have been ordered to work from home and workers can even ring up and dob in their employers for making them go in.

Premier Daniel Andrews made the order this morning saying it applies to everyone who is already working from home.

He says breaching this could lead to fines and there would be spot checks on businesses potentially breaking those rules.

“If an office that had currently, say, 80 per cent of their staff working from home then say ‘oh well, we’ll just ignore the Chief Health Officer and we will have everybody come back Monday’, then they would be in breach of the public health orders,” Mr Andrews said.

He said that “it just isn’t safe” for Victorians to jump back on trains, trams and buses in the numbers they used to.

“As we’ve said from the start, our actions will always be guided by evidence,” he said.

“Right now, we can’t have the usual number of people on our trains, trams and buses – it just isn’t safe.

“And we know that if just half the people who normally use public transport start driving to work, we will see our freeways and other major roads grind to a halt. The number of people on the roads and the transport network is already starting to increase and we cannot let that creep continue.

“If we do, then we’ll see commute times worse than anything any of us have ever experienced – two hours from Werribee to the city, 90 minutes from Reservoir and two and half hours from Mulgrave.”

He said it was the responsibility of both workers and employers to ensure everybody who is working from home continues to do so.

“The majority of Victorians – and employers – are following the work from home advice.

But for the small number that are not, this is about removing any shadow of doubt: if you can work from home, you must continue to do so.

“And because we’re asking this of businesses – this applies equally to workers in the public sector too.

“We’re also being upfront: we don’t yet have a timeline on when this might change, or how we might be able to get back to work as normal.

“For now, we’re saying this will be in place until at least the end of June, but it may well be longer. As always, that will depend on the advice of our Chief Health Officer.

“What is clear is that by continuing to work from home – you are making a very real difference to the safety of our state.”

Mr Andrews announcement came after the state announced seven new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

A school in Melbourne’s northwest has closed after a student tested positive to coronavirus, a week after a teacher was also confirmed to be infected.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said Keilor Downs Secondary College will be closed for cleaning after a student tested positive to COVID-19.

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