Monday, 07 September

It was a tough day yesterday as we began to understand the road to reopening is far longer than we’d hoped.

The staged approach announced by Premier Dan Andrews outlines indicative dates for changes to the way we live and work, each step triggered by specific virus transmission rates.

I acknowledge this will continue to challenge our community of tourism operators. You have been remarkable in your resilience, willingness to adapt and continued optimism in the face of such a difficult operating environment.

I am hopeful that this cautious approach will mean constant forward momentum, and that once a step is taken it’s not undone with a u-turn or backwards movement.

Proceeding with caution means Regional and Metro will take the same steps but at different times. As we move through the roadmap, businesses may be allowed to trade but Melburnians won’t yet be able to visit. We’ll need to monitor both local and Melbourne health information to understand where our industry is placed and make plans.

The Facts heading

Second Step - heading

When: 11:59pm on Sunday 13 September for Regional Victoria

What it means for us:

  • Hospitality: restaurants and cafes open for takeaway and delivery only.
  • Retail: open, with density and other restrictions, hairdressing open.
  • Weddings: allowed with up to 5 people.
  • Funerals: allowed with up to 10 people.
  • Intrastate travel: not allowed, unless for a permitted purpose.
  • Entertainment: all venues closed.
  • Accommodation and camping: closed, except for a permitted purpose.

See all second step details here

Metro-Melbourne will not enter step two until Monday 28 September at the earliest, only if they reach an average daily case rate of 30-50 cases in Metro Melbourne over the previous 14 days with public health advice regarding transmission source.

Third Step heading


  • Daily average number of cases in the previous 14 days in Regional Victoria is less than 5; and
  • zero cases in Regional Victoria with an unknown source in the last 14 days.


Metro Melbourne:
The earliest Metro Melbourne could arrive at the third step is Monday 26 October if:

  • Daily average number of cases in the previous 14 days is less than 5 (state-wide); and
  • less than 5 cases with an unknown source in the last 14 days (state-wide total).

What it means for us:

  • Intrastate travel: allowed in Third Step areas, but not to areas with higher restrictions.
  • Hospitality: predominantly outdoor seated service, group limit of 10 and density limits.
  • Entertainment: outdoor venues and events, subject to pre-approved plans.
  • Accommodation: open, with caps per the social bubble.
  • Retail: all open, hairdressing open with safety measures, other beauty personal care closed.
  • Weddings: allowed with up to 10 people.
  • Funerals: allowed with up to 20 people.

See all third step details here

What's Next? heading

After navigating the second and third steps we’ll enter the last step before entering a COVID Normal situation where businesses will open with ongoing requirements around hygiene, tracing and COVID safe plans in place.

We’ll continue to support Victoria Tourism Industry Council to lobby government for more immediate support to ensure the survival and recovery of the industry.

In his roadmap press conference, the Premier indicated there would be greater support for businesses impacted by the continued restrictions and he’d make announcements in the coming days. We’ll share that information as it comes to hand.

We want to support your businesses through this uncertain time. We’ll reach out shortly to talk to you, and we’d appreciate your help with a survey later this week. We know you have survey-fatigue, but the data we gather is crucial to provide governments an accurate insight about the dire situation faced by our business community.

More information - heading

As expected, there is a lot of information available. These are some of the most useful resources we’ve found:

Roadmap to Reopening – Official website & information

How we Live – A useful timeline explaining each stage and when people can travel again:

How we Work – A useful timeline on when sectors can trade and under what conditions:

Tourism industry specific information:

Understanding the restriction levels (Traffic light system)

Understanding the roadmap for tourism industry sectors- Provided by VTIC

Industry restriction levels: Regional Victoria

Latest Update from VTIC – Including how they’re advocating for more support for our industry.

*We know there is the need for further sector specific definitions around the restriction levels, we will be sharing this information as soon as it comes to hand.


Take Care heading

This is a really difficult time for business operators and people working across the tourism sector. There is a lot of support available for you and your team with special Coronavirus related programs.

I’m looking forward to a time when you can get back to what you do best – showing visitors to our region a great time. Until then, look after yourself.

Tracy Carter
Acting Executive Director
Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine