The COVID-19 situation is once again proving to be a complex situation.
Member concerns and COVID -19 customer advice
VACC have received many calls in the past 24-48 hours from members who are concerned about consumer commentary regarding whether they can travel to a dealership, workshop or similar without fear of Police action. Attached HERE is a letter for your use, to provide your consumers or post on your website. You can also refer a consumer to the VACC website www.vacc.com.au for further information on COVID-19 and how it relates to automotive retail.
The answer is quite simply yes, a member of the public can visit your business to purchase a vehicle, purchase a part or obtain a service etc. As was the case from March-May lockdown a member of the public are permitted to do so under the following legislation:
Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic), Section 20, Clause 6 (1) (Viii) ‘Leaving premises to obtain necessary goods and services’ where it states that a person can leave a premises to obtain goods and services provided by:
(viii) a retail facility that is not prohibited from operating by the Restricted Activity Directions.
I will reiterate the message obtained from the Victorian Minister for Police Office in April (and was message that was reaffirmed by the same office as recently as yesterday):
VACC is correct in that the automotive trade is not being prohibited from work or opening, so staff can work, and customers engage as appropriate and consistent with the CHO requirements around density quotients and physical distancing.
Accordingly, the Office of the Minister for Police has provided VACC’s correspondence to the Chief Commissioner’s office to ensure it informs the ongoing messaging to police members during this time.
In addition, police officers are not meant to be stopping people from travelling for work or restricting trade of businesses that can and should remain open as long as they are maintaining density quotients and physical distancing’.
The Minister’s Office has requested VACC members provide specific instances where police have not conformed to the guidance as stated. This will allow for the Minister’s Office to identify where the message is to be reinforced. VACC has agreed to this.