‘The cure is worse than the cough’: Business owners blast Daniel Andrews for EXTENDING Melbourne’s lockdown and crippling the economy
- Daniel Andrews has extended Victoria’s lockdown and outlined the roadmap out
- A strict lockdown will continue until at least September 13, depending on cases
- Business owners have slammed the move, claiming they are financially crippled
- One business owner described COVID-19 ‘cure’ as being ‘worse then the cough’
Business owners have slammed Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews for extending the COVID-19 lockdown, claiming the move will completely destroy the retail industry.
Premier Andrews announced the state’s strict lockdown would be extended by two weeks, with the earliest possible lessening of restrictions to come on September 13.
But for hospitality and retail businesses the lessening of restrictions do not start until ‘step three’, which the government is hoping will be reached by October 26.
At this step groups of up to 10 will be able to dine out together, retail stores will re-open and there will be no limits on how many people from each household can do any essential shopping.
But business owners on Chapel Street – one of Melbourne’s most famous shopping and retail strips – claim the roadmap out of COVID-19 is too little too late for already struggling business owners.
Business owners have slammed Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews for extending the COVID-19 lockdown, claiming the move will completely destroy the already-crippled retail industry
Premier Andrews (pictured) announced the state’s strict lockdown would be extended by two weeks, with the earliest possible lessening of restrictions to come on September 13
‘Some of our businesses haven’t made revenue since the first lockdown,’ Chrissie Maus, general manager of Chapel Street, said.
‘They have been on borrowed time. It’s black and white now, the cure is much worse than the cold.
‘I’m now most concerned about the long term damage to our business owners mental health and our communities well-being.’
Ms Maus said she believes that nursing homes and the elderly, who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, need to be protected.
‘We definitely should be putting an iron-clad protective shield around our elderly and nursing homes, and doing everything we can to protect our health care workers, but we need to sandbag high-risk areas and get everything else open.,’ she said.
‘Unemployment is soaring and our businesses are living in a sense of hopelessness.
‘We are exhausted and need more fiscal support and not this savage plan. Every day we remain shut, the economic recovery compounds and it’s snowballing fast now.’
As he outlined his roadmap out of lockdown on Sunday, Mr Andrews said a raft of measures were being considered to help retail and hospitality businesses.
Chrissie Maus, general manager of Chapel Street – one of Melbourne’s busiest retail precincts – said the ‘cure is worse than the cough’
Mr Andrews promised that plans were in place to help business strips who have suffered under the COVID-19 lockdown (Pictured is a deserted Toorak Road on Sunday)
One of them is to move more diners at cafes and restaurants outside the venue, by adding more tables to the footpath area.
‘We will have more support to businesses, we will have more to say on that soon,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘We are looking at all about was that we have had some consultations with industry and they would prefer to have everybody back inside. That is not possible in the first instance.
‘We may move a significant amount of activity outside the venue (eventually) but it will still be able to happen. And I think we can make that work.’
Chapel Street precinct’s chairperson Justin O’Donnell said the experience had been ‘painful’ for business owners because of its length.
‘This long, slow and painful pathway shows the approach to business lockdowns has been utterly colour blind from Daniel Andrews,’ Mr O’Donnell said.
‘We want business open sooner rather than later. It is clear the Victorian government has not had their best interests at heart.’
VICTORIA’S ROADMAP OUT OF THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN – WHAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO AND WHEN:
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced his roadmap out of the strict COVID-19 lockdown restrictions currently in place throughout Victoria
Step one: The first step will come in to place on September 13.
Step two: The second step will be implemented when Melbourne has 30-50 COVID-19 cases a day on average over the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on September 28.
Step three: The move to step three will occur when there is a daily statewide average of five new cases over the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on October 26.
Step four: The move to step four will come when there have been no new COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on November 23
COVID Normal: After 28 days of no new COVID-19 cases, things will return to normal.
Step one – 11.59pm on September 13:
– Curfew will be eased to 9pm-5am
– People can still only leave home for the four reasons (shopping, exercise, work and care or medical attention)
– Public gatherings increased to two people, or a household, for a maximum of two hours
– Singles can have one nominated person to their home as part of the ‘singles social bubble’
– Childcare and early educators to remain closed
– Schools will continue to learn remotely unless they have exemptions
– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, unless they have exemption
– Only go to work if you are in a permitted industry
– Cafes and restaurants will continue with take away only
– Retail businesses will remain open for essential shopping, with others only operating with click and collect
– Only one person per household can do the essential shopping
Step two – September 28:
– Public gatherings increase again to five people from a maximum of two households
– Childcare and early educators can re-open
– Schools to continue with remote learning, but Prep to Grade Two and Year 11 and Year 12 students will gradually return to class in Term 4
– There will be an increase to permitted workplaces
Step three – October 26:
– Curfew is no longer in place
– There are no restrictions on leaving home
– Public gatherings increase to 10 people together outdoors
– A ‘household bubble’ will be introduced, so five people from one house can visit another
– Remote learning to continue, but Grades 3 to Year 11 can gradually return to class
– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, but hands on classes will see a phased return to onsite
– Work from home is encouraged
– Up to 10 people can eat together at restaurants and cafes, with the majority of tables outdoor
– Retail shops to reopen, with hairdresses operating under safety measures but beauty stores to remain closed
– Real estate agents can conduct private inspections by appointment
– The one person per household limit on shopping is to be revoked
Step four – November 23:
– Public gatherings to increase to 50 people outdoors
– Up to 20 visitors can attend a home at any one time
– All adult education will return to onsite with safety measures in place
– Groups limited to 20 indoors and a maximum of 50 patrons per venue
– All retail stores to reopen, while real estate agents can operate with safety measures and by keeping a record of attendants
Step five – COVID normal:
– Public gatherings have no restriction
– There will also be no restriction on visitors to homes
– Phased return to onsite work for work from home workers
– Schools to reopen as normal
– Restrictions on hospitality removed, but venues to continue keeping records