Victorian businesses have been dealt another harsh blow today with the announcement that the State will be plunged into its fifth lockdown due to the escalating NSW COVID-19 outbreak spreading into Victoria.
The State Government this afternoon announced that from 11.59pm tonight (Thursday 15 July), for five days until 11.59pm on Tuesday 20 July, there will only be five permitted reasons to leave home: to get food and supplies, for exercise for up to two hours and no more than 5kms from your home, for care or caregiving, work or education if you can’t do it from home, or to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location.
Construction and manufacturing will remain operational. Hospitality venues will only be able to offer delivery and takeaway. Beauty and personal services, entertainment, tourism, events and cultural venues will need to close and community sport will need to be cancelled. The Victorian Chamber stands ready to help any business affected by the shutdowns and invites them to contact us to access support.
Given Victoria has again been forced into lockdown, the Victorian Chamber is advocating for a joint Federal and State Government assistance package to be applied immediately. The Chamber would like to see a joint package endorsed at National Cabinet tomorrow with COVID-19 relief payments for both businesses and workers flowing immediately. This is especially important given that Victoria has barely emerged from Lockdown Four.
To be attributed to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra:
“Victorian businesses are frustrated that they are again suffering the consequences of the virus migrating here from another state. Lockdown Five will be the last straw for some businesses and that’s incredibly sad. This must be short and sharp – if we’re going in quickly, we must come out quickly.
“Victorian businesses have barely come out of Lockdown Four and have now been parlayed straight into Lockdown Five, so they should immediately qualify for the same joint Federal and State Government financial support currently available to NSW businesses.
“Let’s stop talking about lockdowns and start rolling more money and resources into the vaccination program – because that’s the way we are going to get back to working and living normally. Our fight is not against each other, it’s against COVID-19 and the best weapon is vaccination. We need a vaccination sprint out instead of the current vaccination strollout.”