Melbournians, who are living under stage four restrictions – some of the toughest in the world – and regional Victorians, under stage three restrictions, have learned about the Government’s long-awaited, four-step plan to ease toward a “COVID-safe normal”.

Following the announcement, the federal government announced it will scrutinise Mr Andrews’ handling of the pandemic, warning extensions to the lockdown will result in more job losses.

A joint statement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Health Minister Greg Hunt described the news as “crushing” and said it “will come at a further economic cost”.

“Now that we have been advised of the plan and it has been released, we will also seek feedback from Victorian business and industry stakeholders to understand their concerns and seek to ensure they are addressed.”

While the decision on restrictions is up to the states, the statement pointed out that NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s handling of outbreaks and strengthened contact tracing methods meant businesses and daily lives have been able to continue as the “way forward”.

“Restrictions are not substitutes for strengthening health systems to cope with the virus, especially when community outbreak is brought under control.

Former AFL player and owner of Lamaro’s Hotel in South Melbourne, Paul Dimattina, says he’s “feeling terrible” and there will be “anarchy in the streets” if lockdown is extended.

“We’ve got staff that are out of work … It’s pretty devastating to be honest with you,”

Mr Dimattina said he doesn’t understand why the hospitality industry is being treated so differently to supermarkets.

In defending his industry, he is currently the face of a petition to highlight the damage to the industry of the lockdowns and potential crisis that will be caused by extensions to those restrictions. Already 68,000 people in hospitality have lost jobs and many restaurants, cafés and pubs won’t survive.

While regional Victoria has slightly less restrictions there is no doubt that the continuation of hard lockdowns in Melbourne will leave many of our industry colleagues’ facing the loss of jobs and businesses.

If you live in Victoria please consider supporting colleagues and signing the petition. Details in the video link below >>>

Melbourne Road Map for Hospitality

First step
This stage will begin at 11:59pm on September 13 and will see most restrictions continue, with a small number of alterations.

  • Residents will need to stay within 5 kilometres of their homes and will still only be able to leave home for shopping, exercise, care-giving purposes or permitted work.
  • The city’s night curfew will come into place at 9:00pm rather than 8:00pm, and residents will be able to exercise for up to two hours a day, up from one hour.
  • Work, hospitality and retail restrictions will stay in place.

Second step
From September 28, Melbourne will move to a second stage if the city reaches an average daily case rate of 30-50 cases over the previous 14 days.

  • If the city does achieve this, it will still have a night-time curfew.
  • Residents will still have to remain within 5 kilometres of their homes and will only be allowed to leave home for the permitted four reasons.
  • Tourism, outdoor entertainment like amusement parks, and museums and galleries remain closed.
  • Hospitality, retail and real estate restrictions will continue.

Third step
Melbourne can move to this stage from October 26, if the state records an average of fewer than five new daily cases and five “mystery cases” with unknown community transmission, on average over a two-week period.

  • There will be no curfew, and no restrictions on reasons to leave home.
  • There will be no limits on the number of people allowed to leave a household to go shopping.
  • Retail will reopen, as will hairdressing, but beauty parlours and other personal care providers will remain shut.
  • Indoor exercise facilities like gyms will be able to reopen but will be heavily restricted.
  • Cafes, restaurants and bars will reopen for on-site dining, but this will mostly be outdoors, with density limits and group limits capped at 10.
  • Up to 10 people will be allowed at weddings, up to 20 at funerals, and up to 10 people at outdoor religious gatherings.

Last step
If there are no new cases across the state for two weeks, Melbourne will move to the fourth step on November 23.

  • In hospitality, group limits will be capped at 20, with 50 seated diners allowed inside.
  • All retail will be open, including beauty parlours.
  • Weddings will be allowed to host up to 50 people, or 20 in a home.
  • Up to 50 people can attend a funeral, or 20 in a private residence.
  • Tourism and accommodation industries will be able to reopen with restrictions.

 COVID normal   
If there are no new cases for 28 days, no active cases and “no outbreaks of concern” in other states and territories, restrictions will be relaxed further.

  • No restrictions on hospitality, but patrons’ records will be kept by venues.
  • There will be no limits on weddings and funerals.
  • Entertainment venues will be open.