Melbourne Victoria, Australia

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Support

Advice, updates and support to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found by visiting the Business Victoria website. You can also call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15.

6 August 2020

The Victorian Government has announced updated restrictions for Melbourne and regional Victoria. For the latest information on restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the Department of Health and Human Services.

This page is to help Victorian exporters plan, prepare and mitigate any potential impacts from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Given that the situation in Victoria, and around the world, is rapidly changing, Global Victoria will review and update this page regularly.

Help us to support you

We're working to support Victorian exporters who have been impacted by the outbreak of coronavirus.

Help us determine how we can best support your business by taking our short survey.

Take the survey

Permitted worker scheme

From 11:59 pm Wednesday 5 August 2020, workplaces in Melbourne must be closed unless:

  • the workplace is part of a permitted activity, or
  • all employees are working from home.

From 11:59 pm on Wednesday 5 August 2020, employers that require their staff to attend a work site must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility.

You can find out more on the eligibility of issuing a workers permit by visiting the Business Victoria website.

Permitted Work Premises for the purpose of Restricted Activity Documents

Further information about the permitted worker scheme can by found by visiting the following websites:

Summary of government assistance to businesses impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19)

We've created a document summarising the Victorian and Commonwealth Government jobs and economic packages for businesses impacted by coronavirus.

The document also includes a dedicated page on specific assistance for exporters, and useful resources.

Keep checking in with us

We'll continue to update this document as new support measures are announced. It's important to us that you stay informed of any new announcements made and recommend visiting this page regularly to check on any updates.

Read the Summary of Government Assistance to Businesses Impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19)  July 2020 PDF, 295.8 KB

Read an accessible version of the Summary of Government Assistance to Businesses Impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) July 2020

The $110 million International Freight Assistance Mechanism

On 1 April, the Australian Government announced measures to help secure freight access for Australian agriculture and fisheries exporters.

In addition to the International Freight Assistance Mechanism, the Australian Government is coordinating with industry to assist unblocking current supply challenges.

Exporters have an increasing range of options available to them.
NEWS 8 May 2020
Australian produce making their way back to export markets

The International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) is up and away, with several IFAM-supported flights now operational. More than 560 Australian businesses have registered their interest in using the IFAM and agreements for 300 freight flights have been secured to date.

The IFAM is currently supporting the following flights to help get Australian produce to international customers quickly:

  • Sydney to Tokyo (Narita)
  • Brisbane to Singapore, Hong Kong and Auckland
  • Melbourne to Singapore, Hong Kong and Auckland
  • Brisbane to Cairns to Hong Kong
  • Adelaide to Singapore

High-value agricultural and fisheries products have been prioritised, in particular perishable products where exporters have important and established customers.

Eligible products include:

  • seafood (including lobsters)
  • premium red meat (including beef, lamb and pork)
  • dairy (such as fresh milk and yoghurt)
  • horticulture (such as premium fruits and packaged salad or vegetables).

Exporters should submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to access IFAM flights. Further information on how IFAM works is available by visiting the IFAM website.

Register an Expression of Interest

Increased funding for the Export Market Development Grants

The Australian Government also announced on 1 April increased funding for the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG). Funding for the scheme will increase by $49.8 million in the 2019-20 financial year, allowing exporters and tourism businesses to get additional reimbursements for costs incurred in marketing their products and services around the world.

Find out more

Useful links and resources

Please see below for a list of useful resources for exporters and other Victorian businesses to stay up to date on international market developments, and links to authoritative general health and travel advisory information.

Hotline help for businesses dealing with COVID-19 impacts

The Victorian Government has launched a hotline for businesses dealing with the significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The pandemic is creating issues for businesses large and small who are facing a downturn in trade, bans on events and restrictions on indoor gatherings, as well as challenges in dealing with employee safety and entitlements.

Given the rapidly changing nature of the crisis, businesses need quick access to accurate information on how to keep their workplace safe, and advice on how to plan to deal with the current situation and anticipate likely developments.

Businesses across the state can now access information on dealing with COVID-19 by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.

Operators calling the hotline will be able to get information about support services, including those available through Business Victoria, which offers mentoring to help operators develop business continuity and recovery plans.

The hotline will provide the latest information on the response to COVID-19 and how this affects businesses, including how to access financial support available through the national stimulus package.

Links to other resources

Media releases and statements from the Victorian Government

  • For all media releases from the Victorian Government about coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the media release website