Saturday, 20 June 2020

This afternoon, Premier Daniel Andrews announced several changes as a result of increased case numbers and advice from medical experts.

Today we were informed that the rise in cases is largely driven by family get-togethers where advice around distancing and hygiene have not been followed.  Since the end of April, approximately half of our cases have come from transmission inside homes.

Therefore, from 11:59pm this Sunday 21 June, updates include:

  • The number of visitors you can have at your home will reduce to five
  • Outside the home, families and friends can meet in groups up to 10
  • Restaurants, pubs, community halls, museums, cinemas, theatres etc will be capped at 20 people in one space until 12 July and the four square metre rule remains in place

VTIC has received further advice from our government contacts relating to the accommodation sector and VTIC will be engaging further with them on these measures through the coming week.

Details include:

Overnight stays

  • Overnight stays permitted in private residences, subject to private gathering limits
  • Overnight stays permitted in tourist accommodation, subject to group booking limit of 20

Accommodation facilities including caravan parks, camping groups, hostels etc

  • Booking limit of 20 people
  • Communal facilities can open as per advice last week
  • School camps will be allowed to open as per advice last week
  • Exemptions relating to use of accommodation where place of residence, for emergency purposes etc
  • Screening and safeguards will be required at staffed caravan parks and camping grounds
  • Cannot attend if ill or someone from home is ill

Ski accommodation

  • If accommodation has communal facilities, then a maximum of 20 people total permitted to stay
  • Bedrooms cannot be shared between people who are not part of the same group and, if shared outside of usual household members in a single group booking, are subject to four square metre density quotient
  • If lodges take bookings for multiple groups, density quotient for shared indoor living areas (e.g. dining, lounge, games rooms) to defined patron limit
  • Screening and safeguards required for all patrons
  • Cannot attend if ill or someone from home is ill

Today’s announcement is incredibly disappointing for all of us, particularly as I know many of you have worked tirelessly to comply with obligations to provide a COVID-clean and safe environment for your visitors.

VTIC undertook a survey recently to form an understanding of what businesses have been experiencing in reopening from 1 June.  We had a great response and a big thank you to those who shared your insights with us.  This intel will help us in shaping our future initiatives and has proven invaluable in informing our conversations with Government.

We received over 200 responses to this survey and I wanted to share with you some of the key insights from across the membership:

  •  87% of respondents indicated they had partially or fully ceased operations due to COVID-19 since restrictions were put into place
  • 46% of these businesses reopened on the week commencing 1 June, when some restrictions eased, with another 21% only partially reopening
  • Of the 33% of businesses that did not reopen on 1 June:
    • 50% claimed they were allowed, but chose not to
    • 31% were still not allowed to resume operations
    • 19% were still unsure whether they could reopen

We were pleased to see many businesses returning to their activities, but these figures indicated these important matters for us:

  • Of the 50% of businesses that did not reopen, even though they could:
    • 37% indicated that it was not financially viable
    • 33% claimed they were unable to reopen because of distance and space restrictions

VTIC is committed to making sure we can get as many tourism businesses to reopen as quickly as possible under the current circumstances.  Setbacks like today continue to make this challenge unbearable for us and our industry simply cannot weather these continued disappointments.

VTIC remains committed to driving the industry’s messages to government and presenting the unified voice of our sector in their considerations.  Our industry has had to contend with unbelievable upheaval over the past six months and putting your needs in priority position as government moves to recovery mode, is our commitment to you.

If you are having issues in trying to come to grips with the requirements of restrictions at the moment and how they might apply to your business, we encourage you to contact the Business Victoria Hotline on 13 22 15.

Kind regards,

Felicia Mariani
Chief Executive

Visit vtic.com.au/coronavirus for key information available including support and funding, and information specific to the tourism industry.