Premier Daniel Andrews today recognised the sacrifice that Victorians have made during the lockdown period, as he confirmed restrictions would be eased across metropolitan Melbourne.
The Victorian Chamber welcomes this news but wants to see an earlier transition to ‘COVID normal’ than what has been outlined in the State Government’s Roadmap, delivered on 6 September, and will keep advocating for this on behalf of our members.
Under the amended second step, construction, manufacturing, child care, landscaping and gardening, allied health, property inspections and several other business activities will be permitted, which means 127,000 Victorians can get back to work. Primary, VCE and VCAL students will return to school earlier, from 12 October.
The Premier also announced that the transition to the third step has been brought forward by one week from 26, to 19 October, subject to the daily average case number over 14 days being less than five statewide and with less than five cases from an unknown source. The curfew will also be abolished from 11.59pm tonight.
Today’s announcement is an important step forward and the Victorian Chamber will continue to collaborate with the Government to keep COVID-19 under control and to get Victoria back to work.
To be attributed to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra:
“Today is a good start for 130,000 Victorians who will head to the workplace tomorrow, but the task now is to get remaining industries back to work. With extremely low case numbers in regional Victoria, we would hope to see further easing of restrictions in coming days.
“Melbourne’s progression to the Roadmap’s second step is testament to the commitment and resolve of Victorians, but we must acknowledge that managing COVID-19 comes at the expense of so many businesses, jobs and livelihoods.
“The Victorian Chamber recognises that the Government is listening by dropping the date requirement to go to the next step, but we must find a way to get all Victorians back to work sooner.
“The Victorian Chamber will continue to advocate to the State Government for a manageable set of agreed infection rate thresholds that allow local businesses and jobs to thrive while managing the risk of further outbreaks, which would be devastating.”