Today’s announcement by Premier Daniel Andrews to ease some restrictions on 22 June is the signpost many businesses need to plan ahead but leaves most desperate for more.
The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomes the eased restrictions, allowing pubs, clubs, restaurants and venues to cater to up to 50 patrons while adhering to strict distancing, cleaning and hygiene requirements.
Other changes include gyms being allowed to reopen to 20 people per space, cinemas, theatres and auditoriums opening, and galleries, museums and amusement parks, in accordance with patron limits.
Our members have flagged that larger capacity venues still subject to strict patron limits may struggle to resume operations, as they could safely cater to more customers while adhering to the Government’s distancing requirements.
It was also disappointing that the Government opted to continue blanket restrictions across the state. Regional and suburban businesses are typically less reliant on public transport and don’t have the same issues accommodating larger workforces as CBD businesses.
To be attributed to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra:
“The Victorian Government has been excellent at signposting significant decisions affecting all residents and businesses in Victoria.
“While we welcome the easing of restrictions for some sectors, today’s announcement falls well short of what Victorians expect.
“Today’s announcement of the easing of restrictions on 22 June is welcome – but we know that many businesses have been left wanting more.
“While it is pleasing to see limits on customers increase, for larger venues, operators and attractions, 50 patrons are not enough to operate under those restrictions.
“If a venue is large enough to cater for more than 50 while still adhering to the strict distancing and cleaning requirements, they should be able to.
“Our regional and suburban members are also eager to get up and running again and we are hoping that further easing of restrictions in those areas is on the cards.
“Unless the Government is able to do more to get people back to work sooner, Victoria will face an even larger jobs crisis in October when Federal assistance winds up.”