Business groups say the federal government's latest JobKeeper changes aimed at virus-hit Victoria will ensure more people stay in work. The multi-billion-dollar cost of Melbourne's prolonged lockdown has prompted the government to hold off plans to limit the scheme.
Businesses will get easier access to the wage subsidies program with the injection of a further $15 billion, taking its total funding to just over $100 billion.
Eligibility criteria will also be eased when the scheme scales back at the end of September.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says these are difficult times.
We'll have four million Australian workers on JobKeeper through this September quarter. In Victoria, that number will be 1.5 million, that's nearly half the private sector workforce in Victoria. We'll continue to provide very significant support to those who need it. These are very difficult times - it feels like we're in the eye of the storm. And people are staying home, looking after their loved ones, just hoping for the worst to pass.
Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this feature in Punjabi.
Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 8pm and 5am. The only reasons for Melbourne residents to leave home during these hours are for exercise, to shop for necessary goods and services, for work, for health care, or to care for a sick or elderly relative.
The full list of restrictions can be found here.
All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live.
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.
If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus