Melbourne moves to Second Stage but still no change for the hotel industry

Yesterday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced much anticipated ‘next steps’ in Melbourne’s Victoria’s COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery as metropolitan areas move from the ‘First Step’ to the ‘Second Step’ of the Roadmap. His announcement comes as new case numbers remain low, with just 16 new cases overnight and two additional aged care related deaths. Victoria’s rolling 14 day averages for COVID-19 case numbers are 22.1 for Metropolitan Melbourne and just 0.6 for regional Victoria. 

Frustratingly, for the state’s hotel and hospitality industries, there is no further easing of trading restrictions, at this time. 

Metropolitan Melbourne 

For Melbourne, from 11.59 pm on September 27, the following lifestyle aspects apply: 

  • Travel within Victoria not allowed unless for a permitted purpose. 
  • Restaurants and cafés open for takeaway and delivery only.
  • Accommodation is closed except for emergency or permitted purposes. 
  • The nightly curfew will be lifted in Metropolitan Melbourne from 5 am on Monday 28 September.
  • There will be higher on the spot fines (circa $5,000) for breaching rules about visitors to your home and outdoor gatherings.
  • Only leave home for four reasons: school or permitted work (if these cannot be done from home), care or caregiving, to purchase essentials, exercise and recreation.
  • Stay within 5km of your home except for permitted reasons such as work or education if these cannot be done at home.
  • Public gatherings: up to five people from a maximum of two households can meet outdoors for social interaction (infants under 12 months of age are not included in the cap).
  • Childcare will open from 28 September, standalone (sessional) kindergarten programs from Monday 5 October in line with Term 4.
  • Schools will see a staged return to face-to-face learning. Primary School students, students in Years 10 – 12 undertaking VCE/VCAL and special schools return in Term 4.
  • Outdoor exercise with a personal trainer (two people per trainer) allowed. Outdoor pools are able to open. 

These reasons can be accessed by clicking on this link

Regional Victoria 

As members will be aware, regional Victoria moved to the ‘Third Step’ of the Roadmap from Wednesday 16 September. 

Key aspects for regional Victoria from that time now include: 

  • Hospitality open for predominantly outdoor seated service only.
  • Accommodation: open for members of a single household and a maximum of five members of another household, as part of a nominated ‘household bubble.’ Also open for intimate partners. Only for people living in regional Victoria and separately booked groups cannot share bedrooms at the facility. 

Further ‘Third Step’ provisions for Regional Victoria can be found by clicking on this link

  • No restrictions on leaving home.
  • Public gatherings: up to 10 people outdoors.
  • Visitors allowed at home from one other household (up to 5 people).
  • Schools return to onsite learning from Term 4 with safety measures.
  • All retail open, hairdressing and beauty services where a face covering can be worn for the duration of service

Rolling case number averages reflect a significant improvement on anticipated levels at this time, likely enabling Premier Andrews to announce a transition to the ‘Third Step’ of the Roadmap for Metropolitan Melbourne a week earlier than planned – 19th October not 26th October.

When questioned about returning travellers and the resumption of international flights landing in Melbourne, the Premier confirmed that this would not occur until after the final report from Victoria’s Hotel Quarantine Inquiry has been handed to the Victorian Governor. This is scheduled for November 6. 

The Premier also referenced a goal of achieving a ‘COVID Normal’ Christmas for all Victorians. 

Click here to read the related media release

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