Following the announcement residents in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will be required to wear face masks from Wednesday night or face a $200 fine, the premier was discussing how important it is to work from home during the state’s hotspot lockdown where possible.
Mr Andrews then made a public example of an unnamed law firm who he said “decided that they wouldn’t allow their staff to work from home”.
“Any person who can work from home should work from home,” he said during the live coronavirus update earlier this morning.
“I won’t name the law firm, but we did see a firm that’s become a bit famous in recent days where they decided that they wouldn’t allow their staff to work from home, when clearly, the vast majority of that work can be done from home.
“There’s now an outbreak in that very firm. So this is serious. If you can work from home, you must.”
Mr Andrews went on to state he knew working from home created a lot of challenges for people, but stressed “if you can work from home, you must work from home”.
He estimated Victoria had at close to a quarter of a million people working remotely for their employers, including himself.
“I come in this do this media conference. I’ll have a short meeting beforehand in my office. I then collect my things from my office and I go home and I work the rest of the day from home,” he said.
“And I don’t think that I have left the house for the best part of a week, maybe even longer.
“That’s what we have to do. We all have to change the way that we are living our lives.”
On Thursday, legal firm HWL Ebsworth Lawyers in Melbourne’s CBD, were officially linked to at least six confirmed cases of COVID-19.
As a result, two floors of the Collins Street building were closed for deep cleaning.
Currently there are only four reasons why people in coronavirus hot spots in Victoria can leave their homes.
These reasons include:
• Going to work or school
• Care or care giving
• Daily exercise
• Buying food and other essentials
From 11.59pm on Wednesday night those living in those areas will now also have to wear face masks when heading outside or cop a $200 fine.
“If you are out of your home for one of the four permitted reasons, then you need to be wearing a mask and I stress – or a face covering,” Mr Andrews announced today.
“It need to stress it not be a hospital-grade mask, it not be one of the handmade masks like I was wearing when I came in today. It can be a scarf, it can be a homemade mask.”