Vic unveils virus funds to boost recovery

Ulises Izquierdo

Victoria's coronavirus normality has prompted the state government to unveil new funding for kinder parents and workers who deal with customers.

Support packages of $45 million to reduce kindergarten fees in term three and $10 million in coronavirus prevention training courses were announced on Wednesday.

The state government will provide families with $230 per child during term three after free kindergarten in the second term.

The government said this would pay for half the cost of average kindergarten fees.

Additional funding will also aim to boost the cleaning and hygiene of centres, with grants ranging from $900 to $1500 depending on the number of children enrolled.

The government said the additional support will help establish full attendance at centres, following a decline in enrolments during lockdown.

The effects of the global pandemic have also prompted a push to upskill workers who deal with customers face-to-face.

The $10 million fund announced by Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney will give free accredited training to workers in industries such as hospitality, retail and transport.

The courses aim to help workers manage the ongoing risk of coronavirus infection in workplaces while keeping the state "open for business".

Enrolments will open from July 1 and training under the program will be available for a year.

Security and health guidelines protocols were put in place for workers and contractors at hotels hosting returned travellers under quarantine.

Two separate outbreaks at Stamford Plaza hotel and the Rydges on Swanston have meant more than 20 infections.

Victorian authorities said the training and protocols followed by workers at the hotels will be reviewed to learn what other measures could be implemented.

Previous local outbreaks in workplaces such as the Cedar Meats abattoir raised the question of social distancing maintained in shared spaces.

But community transmission in pubs, cafes and restaurants has not been a concern to health authorities despite a spike in cases in Victoria.