COVID-19 restrictions lift for most of Regional Victoria

08 September 2021

Today’s announcement that lockdown restrictions will be lifted across Regional Victoria (apart from Greater Shepparton) from midnight tomorrow night will provide some welcome relief.

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The Victorian Chamber has been consistently advocating for regional areas that have been untouched by COVID-19 to reopen. We welcome this green light for them to do so with the removal of the five reasons to leave home and the five-kilometre travel limit.  

The removal of the Authorised Worker list will mean most businesses and venues can reopen with capacity and density limits, and workers can return to offices up to 25 per cent or maximum 10 people.  

Restaurants, cafes, retail, hairdressing, entertainment venues and community facilities will all be able to open in line with conservative density limits and patron caps, with masks remaining mandatory indoors and outdoors, apart from private residences, unless an exception applies. Regional businesses are required to check identification of everyone they serve. 

Regional schools will also return to on site learning from Prep to Grade 2, and Year 12 students. 

Businesses that continue to be impacted by closures and density limits should continue to access the Federal and State Government financial assistance they are entitled to. The Victorian Chamber stands ready to help all those who are entitled to support.   

To be attributed to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra:  

“Today’s announcement does give certainty and provides a strong signal and hope for the roadmap to COVID-19 recovery. We expect that if there are no outbreaks in Regional Victoria in coming days, then Public Health should have the confidence to lift the customer caps to enable businesses to trade viably. 

“This is a conservative step but understandable in the current climate. Many businesses will struggle to trade viably with the low-density limits, so it is essential that ongoing financial support from both State and Federal Governments continue. 

“We hope that Metropolitan Victoria will soon be able to follow suit as vaccination rates continue to increase in the race to reach 70 and 80 per cent of first and second doses.  

“What businesses state-wide need now is a light on the hill and a roadmap that clearly outlines when and how they can plan to open up as we progress towards those vaccination targets.” 

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