Eased restrictions welcome but Victorian Chamber calls for a snapback
The changes for Metropolitan Victoria will mean that offices can welcome back 25 per cent of staff or 10 people, whatever is greater. Hospitality can open for dine-in with a density limit of one person per four square metres to a cap of 100 people (50 inside), retail and indoor entertainment venues can open with density limits, hairdressers, beauty and personal services can open for services where a mask can be worn and outdoor sport and group fitness classes can run with a 10-person cap.
Indoor sport, gyms, pools and recreation remain closed, beauty services without a mask won’t be permitted, nor will indoor private gatherings, however the Government has indicated further support is on the way for these sectors.
In Regional Victoria, hospitality and entertainment density limits will increase, masks can come off indoors (including for beauty services) and indoor sport, gyms, pools and recreation can open. However, Victoria’s tourism sector won’t see any rebound with restrictions on travel for metropolitan residents to continue.
When Victoria faced similar lockdown restrictions in October last year the State Government required zero active cases to reopen the state. With more confidence in contact tracing, widespread adoption of QR Codes and the vaccine rollout underway, today’s announcement marks a shift to a more targeted approach to managing outbreaks.
To be attributed to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra:
“Today’s news is good but it’s not the snapback we were hoping for; we went fast in, but we are crawling out. While most businesses across the state can now open, we need to see further easing of restrictions to enable all businesses to get back to viable trade as soon as possible to keep jobs, businesses, livelihoods, culture and prosperity alive in Victoria. The mental health toll of these restrictions is immense, as is the damage they’re causing to our reputation and confidence.
“It’s great to see Regional Victoria taking another step out of lockdown and the Victorian Chamber is advocating for the state to unite again quickly. Not every business in the state will be able to operate from tomorrow and some will continue to lose money every day until restrictions are eased further.
“We know our tourism sector will miss out this weekend, but we hope to see visitors return to the regions from next weekend and beyond.
“We need all Victorians and businesses to make sure that people are checking-in everywhere they go. The tick is the key to giving health officials greater confidence to allow us to open up even more. Let’s use that as motivation to accelerate our path out.”
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