COVID-19 Update – All Market Users 27 September

COVID update – 27 September View this email in your browser
COVID update – Monday 27th September 2021
There are currently six known active COVID cases who attended the Melbourne Market over the past fortnight. 

Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, the MMA has had plans in place, as part of our business continuity plan, to deal with any COVID outbreaks in the market, all with the aim of keeping the market open and businesses trading.

Restriction of trade
Our current COVID risk mitigation strategies focus on mask-wearing, social distancing and the exclusion of close contacts of positive COVID cases.  
The next level of the Melbourne Market’s business continuity plan would aim to reduce interaction between people even further, restricting trade to a ‘click and collect’ model only. Should we move to this next level of our business continuity plan, it would mean that the trading floors would close, with all buyers staying with their vehicles, in their parking bays, and having product pre-ordered and delivered to the parking bay.
The MMA believes that we are not at this point just yet and no date has been set to move to this next level of our business continuity plan, however, businesses should start preparing to be able to move to this model of trade at very short notice should it be required.  

Tier 1 contacts
As a result of the six active cases, we currently have 124 market users and approximately 100 contractors excluded from the market as tier 1 contacts. For these 200+ people, it will no doubt put a strain on their businesses, however, they are excluded from the market to reduce the risk of further transmission which would negatively impact even more market businesses. Therefore, you should think about every interaction you have, knowing that the more people you interact with, the higher the risk that you may be identified as a tier 1 contact. 
When the MMA are notified of a positive COVID case, an in-depth CCTV footage review starts, and it is on this basis that individuals are identified as tier 1 contacts. 
Currently, tier 1 contacts will be required to present the results from a negative COVID test on day 13 from date of exposure to have their access to the market re-instated. 

Notifying the MMA of positive cases
Businesses and individuals must inform the MMA if they, or a person within the business, tests positive for COVID-19. 
To allow the MMA to take all appropriate actions to combat any spread of COVID-19, you must inform us if you have either:
– Been diagnosed with COVID-19
– Determined by the DHHS as a tier 1 contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case
Please call the 24-hour security number on 0408 334 555 in either scenario.
Any individuals or businesses who knowingly fail to notify the MMA of positive COVID-19 cases, or provide false or misleading information and documents relating to COVID exposures, face serious penalties, including possible suspensions and bans, as well as breach notices issued.

Mandatory Vaccination
It is no secret that the MMA is investigating the possibility of introducing mandatory double vaccination as a condition of entry to the site. Any changes to our conditions of entry are not yet finalised, however, it is progressing, and we hope to have more to release about mandatory vaccination policies in the coming weeks. If you haven’t already, it is critically important for the health and safety of yourself, your loved ones and your business that you get vaccinated. 

What you can do
Currently, our key risk mitigation strategy to prevent the spread of COVID is mask-wearing and social distancing, however, these things only work if people follow them. We thank those people in the market community who do the right thing, and we particularly acknowledge our market leaders who are calling out instances of non-compliance. It’s time for everyone to come together and do the right thing. Wear your face mask, and if you see someone without their mask on, call them out. It’s not OK for the minority to risk the safety and livelihoods of the majority. 

Below is a list of things the MMA recommend you implement now as much as practicable:
– Pre-order produce and flowers and have them delivered to your parking bay, minimising contact with others as much as possible
– Segregate your workforce into groups
– Don’t hang around the site, get your essential work completed and leave the market as soon as you’re done

Every Melbourne Market user should be monitoring for symptoms. If the smallest of symptoms develop, do not attend the Melbourne Market. You should immediately get a COVID-19 test and isolate until you receive a negative result.

A summary of previous COVID-19 updates and operational changes are kept on our website; click here to access.
If you have any further questions, you can call the 24-hour security number, 0408 334 555.
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