Reopening Roadmap – Sunday, 6 September
Today Premier Daniel Andrews announced Victoria’s roadmap to reopening.
To say that this has been gut-wrenching is an understatement indeed. The prospect of businesses hanging on until late October or November, which looks to be when tourism businesses can hopefully expect to reactivate, is simply not a possibility for many.
As well, our events industry remains left with little clarity of how they will reactivate under this plan, and business events seem to have garnered no mention across this roadmap.
In the media I’ve done today, I’ve stressed the need for immediate survival relief if Government is calling on most businesses to remain in hibernation for a further six to eight weeks.
Beyond survival support, I’ve reinforced the need again for the $1.3 billion investment over 4 years that VTIC put forward in its recovery submission to Government to underpin not just our revival, but our recovery and growth. This is an investment in Victoria’s future as an Australian destination of choice.
Regional Victoria and Melbourne Metro will each have their own roadmaps, relating to how many active cases are currently in the community.
Metro Melbourne will follow a four-step process before finding a COVID- Normal, while regional Victoria will skip the first step of Metro Melbourne and move directly to the second step.
The daily case average over the last 14 days for all of Victoria has been 89 cases. In regional Victoria exclusively, that average has been 5.5 cases, which is why they are proposing to move regional Victoria at a different pace through these phases.
For more information on the Metro Melbourne reopening roadmap, click here.
For more information on the Regional Victoria reopening roadmap, click here.
What this means for our sector
We anticipated there would likely be little joy in this roadmap for our sector, but we were hopeful of some quicker process to reactivation. While regional Victoria will have a shorter timeline to reanimation, the fact is that most of our regional tourism businesses rely heavily on people from Greater Melbourne for their visitation. If we keep Metro Melbourne closed, it has consequences for many tourism businesses across regional Victoria.
I’ve been on two further calls today with government departments on next steps. Clearly, there is more work to be done across the board in this process and VTIC will play a key role in informing the roadmap for tourism, culture, entertainment and events.
We have formed a Reopening Reference Group to help guide us in our positions and I’ll be calling on our Sector Policy Committees to work closely with us to frame our recommendations to government on how each sector will move through the various levels of restrictions being applied.
Each industry will have a different restriction level (closed, heavily restricted, restricted and open with a COVIDSafe Plan) depending on which step we are in. An outline of what each restriction level means is available here.
We’ve tried to summarise the steps toward COVID-Normal for tourism, events and hospitality businesses. Click here to download the METRO MELBOURNE and REGIONAL VICTORIA summary of steps towards COVID-Normal for our industry.
The Premier noted that the relevant hotlines created will have additional staff to ensure your questions can be answered.
Business Victoria 13 22 15
Department of Health and Human Services 1800 675 398
Rest assured that VTIC will be relentless in our pursuit of support, clarity and assurances for our industry. We are an industry that is too big to fail and our survival must be a priority for the future of Victoria.
As always, we will keep you updated as more information comes to hand.