Today’s announcement that restrictions will further ease from 11.59 tomorrow, Thursday 24 June, hasn’t gone far enough.
For the next two weeks, the work from home recommendation will be removed with office caps increasing to 75 per cent, however a density quotient will still apply. Masks will still be required to be worn indoors and the Victorian Chamber is continuing to call for this rule to be removed in offices to encourage more workers to return.
While there was some good news with capacity limits increasing state-wide and no group limits for hospitality venues, Metropolitan Victoria’s larger venues will be restricted to 300 people with a density limit of one person per 4m2 which will continue to be unviable for many.
Victoria’s theatres will initially open at 50 per cent capacity, with up to 1000 people and this weekend crowds can attend public events and outdoor stadiums like the MCG with a limit of 50 per cent, or up to 25,000 people. The Victorian Chamber will continue to call for these limits to increase before the 1 July review, so Victoria does not continue to risk losing these events and attractions to other states that are operating with less restrictive density limits.
The State Government has committed to review all other restrictions in two weeks.
To be attributed to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra:
“We should be taking a giant leap tomorrow but instead we continue to limp out of restrictions, meaning our recovery will lag at a pace that is unacceptable with no virus circulating in the community. Today we were given complications when all we needed was to snapback to the restrictions that were in place prior to Lockdown Four.
“The State Government should remove the density limits for hospitality, events and entertainment and also remove the requirement for masks to be worn inside workplaces to ensure workers return to support businesses in the CBD, suburbs and regional towns. We need our globally famous events and hospitality sectors to be given the opportunity to operate at pre-lockdown conditions.
“It doesn’t make sense that from Friday, Victorians can get on a plane and fly to Queensland, Adelaide, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Auckland and enjoy more freedoms than they can have in their own state.”