Victorian hotel owners have slammed Daniel Andrews’ road map to recovery from coronavirus restrictions.
The Accommodation Association fears thousands of businesses will go under because lockdown is being relaxed too slowly.
Under the premier’s plan, released on Sunday, lockdown will only end when there are an average of five cases per day, which is not expected until October 26.
Victorian hotel owners have slammed Daniel Andrews’ road map to recovery from coronavirus restrictions. Pictured: Melbourne on Sunday
Until then, a curfew will be in place from 9pm to 5am and residents can only leave home for exercise, shopping, school and work, and caregiving.
‘This so-called road to recovery is actually a road to business closures and economic ruin,’ said Accommodation Association CEO Dean Long.
‘With apologies to AC/DC, the Victorian Government is in fact providing Victoria’s accommodation providers with a highway to hell.’
The body represents close to 3,500 hotels with 100,000 employees around Australia, including 500 hotels in Victoria.
Before coronavirus, the accommodation sector was worth $17 billion to the Australian economy and $1.5 billion to the Victorian economy.
The group is demanding hotels be paid $1,000 per room per month to stay alive as lockdown is extended.
Accommodation Association CEO Dean Long
Mr Long said: ‘The Victorian Government has a moral responsibility to support accommodation businesses with a $1,000 per room monthly payment to help offset fixed costs such as electricity, water, insurance while they continue to enforce a close down on our sector.
‘We look forward to being part of a more consultative process with the Victorian Government to refine the roadmap moving forward.’
The road map has also come under fire from Opposition MPs show believe.
New South Wales has managed to remove lockdown and keep its economy going while suppressing cases to an average of less than 10 this month.
Tim Smith MP said; This isn’t a recovery plan, this is the Andrews Labor govt’s death warrant for Victoria.
‘The curfew won’t end until there are 5 cases a day…
‘NSW has averaged nine cases a day for the last two weeks so under Dan’s plan Sydney would have a 9pm curfew and hospitality would be closed.’
Victoria has announced nine more deaths from coronavirus, taking the state toll to 675 and the national figure to 762.
But there was some good news for the state, with new case numbers dropping significantly on Monday to 41.
It is Victoria’s lowest daily case number since June 26.
Monday’s figures come as Victorian small business rails against the government’s roadmap out of lockdown restrictions, with Melbourne under stage-four measures for another fortnight.
A broader state-wide reopening is still months away, but Victorian deputy premier James Merlino said the government is doing all it can to have the economy moving again in a COVID-safe way.
Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell said owners are struggling under the weight of costs, including rent, equipment leases, loans and an accumulation of worker entitlements.
‘What small businesses are telling us is that they are giving up,’ she told Nine’s Today program on Monday.
‘For many of them, they are not going to be open until the end of November.’
The Accommodation Association fears thousands of businesses will go under because lockdown is being relaxed too slowly. Pictured: Premier Dan Andrews
Mr Merlino said the worst thing the government could do for business was open up and then a few weeks later reimpose restrictions because of a third wave.
‘You’ve got to get the (infection) numbers down … and once we do that then we can have a much broader reopening of our economy,’ he told ABC radio.
Mr Merlino believes the state’s voters are behind the government’s suppression strategy.
‘People are with us and they don’t want to be put at risk,’ he said.
‘People understand that we need to ease restrictions safely and steadily.’
MELBOURNE’S ROADMAP OUT OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN – WHAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO AND WHEN:
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