Changed Restrictions for Melbourne
Wednesday, 8 July
Like you, I was disappointed with the news yesterday that metropolitan Melbourne will return to stage 3 lockdown conditions for the next six weeks. Whilst restrictions inside our region haven’t changed, this measure will certainly prevent large numbers of our potential customers from visiting.
Whilst we share your frustration, we respect the health reasons behind the lockdown conditions and we hope it succeeds in limiting the spread of the virus.
In some ways the measures are even tighter than previous, as Melburnians must stay in their primary residence – not a holiday house – and they can’t leave the metro area to exercise as many had done in the earlier phases of the virus response.
Any holidaymakers already in regional Victoria can finish their holiday, an important clarification as we wrap up the school holidays.
We’ll still be able to welcome regional Victorians, who make up around 30 per cent of our usual domestic overnight market, if they feel well and it is safe to do so.
For operators who can continue to trade under the current regional Victorian conditions, it’s important to note the obligation for businesses to check identification as part of the requirement to maintain customer records, and you must refuse service to those who reside in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire.
We’ll shift our messaging and focus again to encourage support for local businesses from local people. We’ll adapt plans for our upcoming marketing campaigns to launch them when the time is right and the majority of the market – Melbourne – are ready and able to take a break in regional Victoria.
Throughout this crisis we’ve endeavoured to provide our tourism businesses with the most relevant information. Right now, the most critical considerations are:
- The Tourism Accommodation Support Program for operators who’ve lost bookings as a result of the changed restrictions.
- This Summary of Restrictions and what rules apply to which parts of Victoria.
- Taking care of your own mental health. Support is available through the Geelong Business Support program to business operators in the City of Greater Geelong and Borough of Queenscliffe.
As the situation continues to develop, there’s no doubt the tourism industry is being heavily impacted by the restrictions. We’ll continue our advocacy work, led by the Victoria Tourism Industry Council, to seek further support and financial backing for businesses in the visitor economy hit hardest by the COVID response.
To inform our approaches to government, we’re asking you to complete another short survey to understand how these latest changes have affected business, immediately and for future bookings. The information we gather is critical to how we support you now, and advocate for further future recovery.
It’s vital we all stay connected, support one another and continue to stay in touch. As always, we’re available via firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on (03) 5223 2588.
Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine