VICTORIA International Container Terminal has ceased operations for a second time this week after an employee returned a positive COVID-19 test.

In an announcement to customers sent out at 2200 last night, VICT said it was ceasing operations across its whole site effective immediately.

“We have just closed the front gate to prevent any more trucks from entering the facility and ask all trucks currently onsite to exit the terminal without completing their transactions,” the notice said.

“At this stage, we cannot confirm when we will be able to resume operations but will post updates as soon as that becomes clearer later tonight.

“This is a rapidly developing situation and we appreciate your patience while we work through the complexities of resuming operations safely.”

VICT said it is working with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, as well as Worksafe Victoria to determine close contacts to the employee who returned a positive test.

The company said this latest positive COVID case was not located at any of the truck interchange areas.

VICT said no penalty fees would be charged for listing or no shows resulting from the closure.

The container terminal at Webb Dock East shut down for deep cleaning on Monday at 1600 after a COVID case was discovered among its workforce. Quayside operations were back up and running at midnight and landside operations came online shortly thereafter.

DP World Australia’s Port Botany terminal shut down last week after a positive COVID case. It re-opened the following day and the company announced it would make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for its workforce.

Hutchison Ports Australia’s Port Botany terminal shut down this past weekend when several cases of COVID-19 were found in the workforce.

Ports Australia has called for more collaboration between government and industry to plan for COVID-19 cases at container terminals. As lockdowns in Victoria and New South Wales are lifted in the coming months the likelihood of cases arising at ports will increase drastically.