Local business leader backs government’s introduction of tougher COVID recommendations

Local business leaders are supporting the state government’s decision to introduce tougher COVID safety recommendations.

Masks will be strongly recommended indoors and in crowded areas and employers should consider working from home.

Changes to pandemic orders and public health recommendations will take effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday evening.

The new recommendations follow a 53% increase in COVID hospitalizations over the past two weeks.

Geelong Chamber of Commerce CEO Ben Flynn believes the state government is right to stop reintroducing mandates, with the recommendations giving businesses greater freedom of choice.

“It really shows the government has listened to business,” Flynn said.

“Companies will now be able to decide what they do locally, based on the facts they have.

“There will always be companies that will be challenged to wear a mask in the workplace and will have to adapt quickly to working from home, which is why the recommendations give people this flexibility.

“But at the same time, companies have done the right thing and are really able to come back home and do what needs to be done.”

As part of the new “Stay Well in Winter” campaign, positive cases will have an additional reason to leave home to provide transport for a household member to buy essential food.

Meanwhile, the period after someone has contracted COVID – and therefore exempt from testing or isolation – has been revised from 12 to four weeks.

The government is also announcing another round of its Small Business Ventilation Grant scheme, to help businesses invest in equipment.

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