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The Victorian government will partially shut down the state’s construction industry as part of its stage four restrictions to stem the escalating COVID-19 health crisis.

Professional services, including architectural, engineering and technical services, are among a raft of industries that will be required to close their on-site operations from 11:59 pm on Wednesday 5 August.

Furthermore, construction sites “will move to pilot levels.” No more than 25 percent of the workforce on major projects will be permitted on site and for small-scale residential construction a maximum of five people will be allowed on site. All constructions site will be required to have a COVID-19 safe plan.

During the nation-wide lockdown in April, the Association of Consulting Architects (ACA) conducted a series of surveys on the impact of the pandemic on architecture practices. Its first survey revealed that around 10 percent of practices could not accommodate any staff working from home.

In a statement on its website, the ACA said, “Should it not be possible for employees to operate from home and they are not on the JobKeeper program, it is permissible for employers to stand down those employees as a direct consequence of the Victorian Government’s instruction.

“No statement has been issued restricting architects travelling to construction sites to undertake necessary works, as long as their presence does not exceed the total number of permitted persons on that site.

“In the circumstance that a construction site to which an employee is travelling is further than 5km from an employee’s home, it is recommended that employees carry written authorisation from their employer relevant to that site and to that day.”

Permit forms will be available on the Department of Health and Human Services website on Tuesday 4 August.

More information on restrictions are also on the DHHS website.

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