Medibank has temporarily closed 17 retail stores in Melbourne for a period of six weeks in response to the reintroduction of Victoria's stage three stay-at-home order announced as a result of an increase in COVID-19 cases.
The closure of all Melbourne stores follows the company's decision to close three in hot spot postcodes.
Medibank said its stores located outside the restricted areas – in Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat – will remain open. The store in Albury remains closed for the time being.
Medibank Chief Customer Officer David Koczkar said that while employees and customers had welcomed being back in the store following the previous re-opening, closing stores in the impacted areas is necessary to protect their health and wellbeing.
“The increase in cases in Victoria is disappointing for everyone, and while we have enjoyed seeing our Melbourne customers face-to-face again, closing these stores is necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of our team, our customers and the communities we are part of,” he said.
Mr Koczkar said employees who work at the impacted stores will be redeployed across other customer support channels, including the company's phone and digital network, which are currently being delivered remotely.
“I want to thank these teams for their incredible resilience in doing what we’ve asked of them over the past few months,” he said.
“This is the second time they have transitioned from in-store to remote working, and we are so proud of how they have represented Medibank and helped our customers navigate through this challenging time.”
“We know our customers need us more than ever and we thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we get through this time together,” added Mr Koczkar.