Victorian business welcomed our next step closer to COVID Normal with Premier Daniel Andrews today announcing the well-earned progression in the COVID-19 Re-opening Roadmap for all of Victoria.
After recording nine consecutive days of zero COVID-related deaths and zero new cases, the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomes the latest easing of restrictions that will take place from 11.59pm tonight, Sunday, 8 November.
The ‘ring of steel’ border that divided metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria will go this evening, so all businesses will operate under the same restrictions from tomorrow (Monday) and the limit preventing people from Melbourne more than 25km from their home will also be abolished.
There is good news for the hospitality industry, with indoor dining moving to a cap of 40 patrons with a 4sqm density limit, rather than the previously proposed 20 person per space limit, which will make it easier for some venues to serve more customers indoors, while outdoor capacity will rise to 70. In welcome news for the struggling visitor economy, accommodation operators can now welcome people holidaying, which will be embraced by the many Victorians looking forward to a break. Restricted outdoor tours, entertainment and events can also resume.
“The mood is clearly one of optimism among businesses as our state continues its strong and successful fight against COVID-19, with all Victorians finally able to unite as one state again. The winners today are the visitor economy, hospitality, gyms and entertainment, but there is still more work to be done on a plan for the return of functions and events, as well as office workers”, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra said.
Gyms will be able to operate with 10 person limits per space with a total of 20 for the facility and cinemas, galleries, music halls and museum will also open with 20 people per space. Attendance numbers for weddings and funerals will also be increased.
“Victoria needs a roadmap for the safe return of office workers to revitalise the CBD, with many businesses struggling to make ends meet without their pre-COVID-19 customer base. The plan could include roster systems and staggered start and finish times for example. We should commence transitioning workers back to the office from 30 November as a starting point”, Mr Guerra added.
“While the Victorian Chamber welcomes the tweaks to the caps on indoor dining patrons, we really need to see our levels lifted to align with NSW by 23 November, when the interstate border opens, or we risk losing medium and large scale functions and events.”
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