Q Where can I find information about the latest government announcements?
To access the latest media releases from the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, visit these links:
- Commonwealth Government media centre: https://www.pm.gov.au/media
- Victorian Government media centre: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/media-centre/
Do I need to update my Permitted Worker Permit?
From 11.59pm 09 November, permitted worker permits will no longer be required in Victoria. From this time, you will not need to carry a permit when travelling for work or any other reason.
Q What should I do if I think a colleague is showing symptoms similar to COVID-19 and they are at work?
We should be sensitive in raising this matter with our colleagues. They may already have been cleared of the virus. You should inform your manager immediately of your concerns.
Q In what circumstances might a manager request a colleague to leave the workplace and seek medical advice for consideration of testing?
Generally, if it can be determined that your colleague had casual contact with someone who has tested positive to COVID-19 and they are symptomatic.
DHHS defines casual contact as less than 14 minutes face-to-face contact or a group meeting lasting less than 2 hours with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 while they are symptomatic.
Or your colleague had been in close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 and has not completed the required self-quarantine period.
DHHS defines close contact as face-to-face interaction of more than 15 minutes or a group meeting lasting more than 2 hours with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 in the 24 hours before they show symptoms, or once they showed symptoms.
Some business areas have their own processes to determine this. You should talk to your manager if you have concerns.
Q Should I let other team members know if someone in the workplace is being tested for COVID-19?
Normal privacy considerations should be applied by everyone when a colleague is unwell. It is not recommended that you tell other team members if someone in your workplace is being tested for COVID-19, unless this is instigated by your colleague being tested.
If your manager has been informed, they will manage the process.
Q What if a colleague near me has self-isolated and I’m being asked to also self-isolate as a precaution?
Consult your doctor immediately by phone for advice if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
During the 14-day self-isolation period, you can work from home if possible. Please discuss options with your manager if you are unable to work from home or need appropriate equipment to do so.
Q Will Metro sanitise that person’s desk and surrounding work area?
We will undertake necessary sanitisation as required.
Q What is my obligation to disclose information if I think I have been in contact with someone not from work or a family member that has been asked to self-isolate because they may have symptoms or is currently being tested for COVID-19?
Given the ongoing need to contain the virus, we should do the right thing and inform our manager.
Q How are we managing confirmed or suspected cases?
Metro is supporting our people who are impacted but we are not making this information public for privacy reasons.
Managers who have been informed by a team member of a suspected or confirmed case, report these cases per their business area’s required process. This
Q What if I am feeling unwell and have been asked by my doctor not to attend work?
If you are feeling unwell and not 100% you should definitely not come to work. In all cases, whether you can work from home or not, if you are unwell you should take sick time off to rest.
Q What will I expect to hear if there’s a positive case at Metro?
Metro will alert those who have been in close contact with a colleague who has tested positive to COVID-19. We have processes in place to manage these circumstances, which includes identifying those who have been in close contact, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidelines of what is considered to be close contact.
For privacy reasons, we do not disclose details of impacted employees to the wider organisation. However, your safety and wellbeing is critical to us, and we assure you that colleagues who need to know, will know. From time-to-time you may see a room shutdown, a deep clean or a media report but please remain confident that Metro has processes in place to manage this, in line with the latest DHHS guidance.
It’s also important that your contact details are kept up-to-date in Metro Me, should we need to contact you. To do this, please follow the instructions on the Metro Coronavirus website at https://www.metrotrains.com.au/coronavirus/
Q How is Metro ensuring business continuity and the sustainability of our business in this environment?
Metro‘s Continuity Support Group (CSG) was initially formed to coordinate our assessment of the developing public health crisis and our response to its impact on our business and people. The CSG will, if or when required, help Metro identify strategies for the future.
Q Who should wear a face mask?
All Victorians are required to wear a face mask when leaving home. The fine for not wearing a face mask is $200.
For Metro this means that all Metro employees must wear a mask while working, unless there are specific reasons that makes this impractical or unsafe. These reasons must be supported by a risk assessment. Team leaders should undertake any required risk assessments, and can contact their local safety representative to assist.
Employees with a medical condition which means they are unable to wear a mask will be required to provide a medical exemption from a Specialist, explaining the reasons for the exemption from wearing a face mask. If they are unable to see a Specialist and their media exemption is from a GP this will require validation by our Chief Medical Officer. If the employee does not have the correct medical exemption and cannot wear a face mask they are not safe in the working environment and will be sent home.
If you have any concerns about face mask, please speak to your leader in the first instance.
Q Are other PPE available?
We have worked hard to ensure we get an adequate supply so there is enough for everyone. Please be considered in how you use them.
Q Are the disposal wipes we are getting adequate to sanitise?
Touch points are cleaned and sanitised daily as part of the increased cleaning protocols. The wipes we are using are considered an effective control. However you can add some sanitiser to the wipe to improve the alcohol component.
However, please consider how you use these items as they are difficult to source at this time and to ensure there is enough for everyone.
Q Are we cleaning the train stations as well?
We have touch point cleaning at stations meaning that things such as escalator handrails, Myki machines, lift buttons and ticket office counters and windows will be cleaned regularly.
Q What about cleaning of train cabs?
Cab cleaning together with train cleaning and disinfecting are conducted nightly. There are 17 terminating locations across the network where cabs will be cleaned during the day as well.
Q How are we managing the cleaning of desks and shared desks?
If you are normally at your desk, look at how you usually clean your equipment and desk space.
If you are hot-desking or sharing a desk, you should make sure you clean the desk and equipment ready for the next user.
Q How does social distancing apply to travelling in work vehicles together?
Sitting directly shoulder to shoulder, such as three people travelling in the back seat, should be avoided, as this would be interpreted as face-to-face contact. Sitting in the front passenger seat next to the driver is acceptable as long as it isn’t for a period of more than 2 hours as that would be considered ‘close contact’.
Therefore, based on the guidance above it is acceptable to have up to the driver and a front seat passenger and two additional passengers in the back of the vehicle, leaving the middle seat between the back seat passengers free. This formation is not considered as close contact as long as passengers are in the vehicle for less than two hours. In most cases we are achieving better than this configuration.
You will be required to wear a mask when travelling in Metro vehicles with colleagues and when driving alone. This is unless it has been agreed with your leader that this is impractical or unsafe.
If you have concerns, please talk to your manager.
Q How can social distancing be applied if I’m working on Projects like Tunnel/Level Crossings/Franchisee sites?
Construction projects are an essential service. Your project will have conducted the appropriate risk assessment and put controls in place to ensure the safety of all team including maintaining social distancing or circumstances otherwise.
Q How can social distancing be applied at our stations?
Social distancing is something we should be consciously doing where practicable. Transmission reduction measures are critical to helping reduce the spread of the virus.
Each station is different and your manager is your first point of contact to discuss social distancing options.
Q Will there be limits on passenger numbers on our trains?
In line with government advice, we will not be limiting the number of people on board.
Q Do we accept cash at our Stations?
Public transport service desks will not accept cash for payment to purchase or top up Myki. This must still be either done online, on the phone or using contactless payment methods.
Cash can still be used at Myki card vending machines.
Passengers are required to hold a valid ticket to travel.
Q What should I do if am unsure whether I’m experiencing seasonal allergies or COVID-19 symptoms?
Symptoms in both can vary from person to person, so while it’s always best to seek advice from your own medical practitioner. If you are a regular sufferer of seasonal allergies, take your medication as outlined by your medical practitioner to avoid symptoms that would lead to the need for a COVID test. If in doubt, however, it is important to get tested for COVID-19.
The information here is a general guide.
Symptoms more common of COVID-19:
- Fever/ elevated temperature or chills
- Muscle and body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Nausea or vomiting
Symptoms common of both season allergies and COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing*
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
Symptoms more common seasonal allergies:
- Itchy or watery eyes
Q Do I still need to attend my rail medical assessment for work related compliance requirements?
There is currently no legal provision for ONRSR to approve any exemption from the medical requirements of the National Transport Commission’s (NTC) National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers.
As a result, all Rail Medicals will continue as usual with no exception at this stage, with strict processes in place to ensure your safety.
Q Is internal training still going ahead?
We have postponed or cancelled non-essential training or in some cases, moved to a non-face-to-face option. If you have not received any information on any pre-booked training, please check with the organiser, facilitator or your manager.
Safety critical and compliance training is proceeding. We have taken advice from our Chief Medical Officer on a number of concerns.