Sunday 19 September 2021- Seven day lockdown to start 11.59pm tonight
It’s been a big day and there’s a lot to unpack from the Premier’s press conference this afternoon.
First and foremost, the City of Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire have been placed into a 7 day lockdown from 11.59pm tonight, Sunday 19 September.
This will see us at the same level of restriction as Melbourne, but without a curfew. That means non-essential businesses are closed, there is a 10km travel limit and there are only six reasons to leave home:
- shopping for necessary goods and services
- caregiving or compassionate reasons, medical care or to get a COVID test
- authorised work or permitted education
- to get a COVID-19 vaccination (within a reasonable distance and time)
You can also spend up to a total of four hours outside, in limited groups, once per day to:
- exercise, and / or
- have outdoor social interaction in limited groups
For tourism and hospitality in Greater Geelong, the main things to be aware of are:
- Hospitality: Back to take away only. Picnics are allowed now in small groups depending on the vaccine status of those attending, consider using that as a new take away opportunity.
- Accommodation: Guests already on site can stay, and people with exceptional permitted circumstances can be accommodated but no new holiday arrivals can be taken.
See full details of the new restrictions here.
This time will be tricky in our region as the Borough of Queenscliffe and Golden Plains Shire are not subject to this new lockdown order.
Businesses in the Borough of Queenscliffe and Golden Plains:
- Can continue existing operations, as per the Regional Victorian rules.
- If you have essential workers who live in Greater Geelong or the Surf Coast, employers need to issue those staff members with a work permit. The essential worker and authorised provider list can be viewed here. Home restrictions travel with those staff – they are allowed to do their work, but must return home immediately after.
- You need to continue checking IDs and refuse service to customers from Greater Geelong and Surf Coast, as well as Melburnians and for the time being Ballarat.
- If accommodation guests from Greater Geelong or Surf Coast are already on site, they are allowed to stay. Restriction rules from home apply to them.
Necessary goods and services in the Borough of Queenscliffe can serve customers from the City of Greater Geelong if it is their closest location for that service. (ie residents west of Fellows Road in Point Lonsdale). Necessary services include supermarkets / fresh food suppliers, take away food and beverage, pharmacies.
The main announcement today was of the much anticipated Victorian Government Roadmap outlining how the state will navigate the coming weeks and months.
Regional Victoria and Metropolitan Melbourne will continue to operate with different restriction levels, and each zone has a separate roadmap to reflect these differences.
At 80% fully vaccinated, regional Victoria and Metro Melbourne come together under the same rules. At this point we can expect more significant reopening of the tourism industry in line with Melburnians being able to travel freely across the state.
This 80% milestone is also significant in terms of increased capacity limits and a wider range of activities being allowed. (Modelling indicates this should occur around 5 November 2021, subject to Public Health consideration of epidemiology at the time).
We know our sector has had an incredibly tough time to this point, but much of the challenge has come from the overwhelming sense of uncertainty. We are hopeful that this roadmap provides a level of confidence for businesses and the public that we’ll be taking steps forward for the rest of this year to a better way of living, operating and, importantly, travelling.
Download Victoria’s Roadmap – Delivering the National Plan here – The Roadmap at a glance.
Download the Summary of proposed restriction levels – Regional Victoria here – A detailed list of what restrictions will look like in each phase.
- Current restrictions – Find information on how new restrictions affect you.
- Current business support. Tip: The FAQ section for each grant is really helpful.
- Victorian COVID-19 Data. – Daily data updates on COVID-19 including graphs showing case numbers, location, age group and mode of transmission.
- Authorised provider and authorised worker permit.
- The National Plan to transition.
- Tracking Australia’s COVID vaccine rollout numbers.
- Victoria Tourism Industry Council and all regional tourism boards advocacy for greater business support.
- Booking a vaccination.
- Current exposure sites. Be aware of a couple in our region.
- Mental health resources. Specific for: Small business owners, families, media and carers to help maintain wellbeing.