Computer-generated imagery has shown what a night out could look like when Melbourne emerges from its Stage Four lockdown as part of a $100million funding package to build more outdoor dining areas in the city’s CBD.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday unveiled a $290million funding package to help the state’s sole traders and entertainment industry survive when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
The package also includes $87.5million set aside for councils and businesses outside of the CBD to make outdoor dining possible.
The premier wants to emulate New York’s Open Restaurants initiative, which has involved footpaths, laneways and streets being temporarily transformed into dining areas.
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Computer-generated imagery has shown the vision for Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ plan to rejuvenate Victoria’s hospitality sector after the city’s Stage Four lockdown
‘They have been able to get their hospitality sector back to something approaching normal, faster than what would otherwise have been the case because they have used the footpath, curbside parking and taken public space and turned it into pop-up cafes, restaurants, bars,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘We don’t want the cost to be a barrier to already-strapped businesses that are under considerable pressure being able to make that transition.’
The state government also on Monday published mock-ups of what the seating areas in Melbourne could look like, including a segregated seating area in a laneway off Little Bourke Street.
The $100million Melbourne City Recovery Fund includes $30million in grants to small and medium businesses to reconfigure spaces, $30million to support COVIDSafe events and cultural activities and $40million to provide physical improvements to the city streetscape.
Businesses outside the CBD will have the option of applying for grants of up to $5,000 to pay for equipment including umbrellas, outdoor furniture and perspex screens.
About $29.5million will be provided to local councils to streamline a permit system for traders.
Pictured: A computer-generated image showing what outdoor seating could look like as part of a $100million funding package for the Melbourne CBD
‘We don’t want bureaucratic delays. We don’t want arguments and debates,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘We want as many people seated in as quick a time as possible, utilising public space that has never been on offer previously because that is unprecedented because this challenge is absolutely unprecedented.’
Some $100 million of support has also been announced for sole traders hardest hit by restrictions.
Grants of up to $3,000 will be provided to sole traders who are tenants or licensees in commercial premises that will continue to be affected by restrictions.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews pictured on Monday. He said he did not want ‘cost to be a barrier to already-strapped businesses that are under considerable pressure’ because of the Stage Four lockdown
‘That will be those traders who work in areas like accommodation and tourism, some non-permitted retail, media and film production, gyms, creative studios, outdoor entertainment, private museums and galleries,’ Jobs Minister Martin Pakula said.
‘We think that will support around 33,000 sole traders across the state.’
It follows a $3billion suite of cash grants, payroll tax deferrals and fee waivers announced on Sunday.
Monday’s 35 additional cases in Victoria marks the lowest daily total since June 26, when the state recorded 30 new infections.
The 14-day case average for Melbourne sits at 54.4.
Under the state’s government roadmap, metropolitan Melbourne will be able to move to its next step of reopening on September 28 if the 14-day average if the average falls to 30-50.
Victoria recorded 35 new cases on Monday- its lowest daily figure of new cases in 11 weeks
There were no new cases in regional Victoria, which moved into a new stage of eased restrictions on Monday.
Authorities are hopeful regional areas could jump two steps out of lockdown by mid-next week, allowing residents to go out for a coffee or meal.
Melbourne has also taken its first tentative steps out of lockdown, with those living alone or single parents allowed to have one other visitor as part of a ‘social bubble’.
Melbourne’s night curfew will be reduced by one hour to start at 9pm. Pictured is a deserted Bourke Street Mall on Thursday night
Outdoor exercise is now two hours per day and the curfew will start an hour later at 9pm.
The state’s seven latest virus victims include one man aged in his 70s, one man and one woman in their 80s and three men and one woman in their 90s, bringing the state’s toll to 729 and the national figure to 816.
The deaths are all linked to outbreaks in aged care facilities, where 513 cases remain active.
There are 122 Victorians in hospital with coronavirus, including 12 in intensive care.