Paul Guerra VCCI

VCCI’s Paul Guerra calls for support for VIC businesses and workers

Victoria’s business and worker emergency intensified today with news that Lockdown Four will be extended for at least another week in Metropolitan Victoria, Paul Guerra of Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

The State Government announced that Lockdown Four will continue until 11.59pm on Thursday, 10 June in Metropolitan Victoria with some changes including students in years 11 and 12 returning and some outdoor jobs added to the permitted list. The QR code check-in requirements will also be extended to supermarkets and retail and people will be able to travel 10km from home.

“Today’s lockdown four extension has intensified Victoria’s business and worker emergency. We need a clear path out of this lockdown that will see a return to the level of restrictions that we had in place prior to this fourth lockdown. We know businesses are ready to do whatever is required to ensure that we can open up again”, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra said.

“Victorian businesses and their workers are looking for support to help them get through the latest lockdown in Victoria. It was clear on Sunday and it’s even more clear today that workers need support. The Victorian Chamber continues our call for the Federal and State Governments to come together to help workers who will go without a pay cheque for yet another week” Paul Guerra further said.

The State Government proposes to ease restrictions in Regional Victoria from 11.59pm Thursday, 3 June with a final decision to be made tomorrow. Regional residents will be able to travel any distance from home (but must observe metropolitan restrictions when in Metropolitan Melbourne), hospitality will open for seated service with a cap of 50 per venue and density caps, beauty and personal services will be allowed where masks can be worn, outdoor exercise classes and pools will open and crowds of 50 people or 50 per cent capacity will be permitted for outdoor seated entertainment. Office workers will be able to return to 50 per cent capacity while religious ceremonies and funerals will be capped at 50 and weddings at ten people.

Regional businesses must check the IDs of their customers and clients to ensure they have not come from Metropolitan Victoria and metropolitan residents won’t be permitted to travel to Regional Victoria for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

Also read: Victoria to begin 7 day lockdown from midnight

“We should recognise we are in a different position than we were during previous lockdowns: we have a vaccine and people are getting vaccinated in droves, we have a state-mandated QR code system and our contact tracing capabilities have vastly improved. Now business needs to see a more targeted approach to outbreaks that protects the health of all Victorians while ensuring business and workers can keep trading. We need a clear commitment that this will end by next Friday or earlier and that business can trade at pre lockdown levels, albeit with more widespread mask use” Paul Guerra added.

The State Government will add a further $209 million to the Circuit Breaker Business Support Package in addition to the $250 million announced on Sunday and applications will be open from tomorrow. The Victorian Chamber renews our call for the Federal Government to provide further assistance for workers. The Victorian Chamber encourages members to apply for all the assistance they are entitled to.

Businesses looking for information visit:  victorianchamber.com.au.