Wait a week for retail stores and restaurants to reopen

Wait a week for retail stores and restaurants to reopen
Wait a week for retail stores and restaurants to reopen
Only two new cases of the virus were reported on Friday – one of which was in a patient at the Royal Children’s Hospital – and no people were killed.

As Prime Minister Scott Morrison tried on Friday, the state opposition and Victorian corporate groups tried to keep up pressure on the Prime Minister for a faster opening, a number of leading epidemiologists said Age This hospitality could safely be opened from Sunday.

However, the medical experts were more cautious about retailers, warning that shopping malls could pose a risk if they reopened fully. Professor James McCaw of Melbourne University said a trip to Chadstone could be as dangerous as visiting football.

Professor McCaw said shopping malls shouldn’t be places for people to socialize. “We need to encourage people to buy their goods and go,” he said.

The prime minister promised “significant” moves on Sunday but insisted that he and his health advisors make “conservative” decisions.

“The strategy works – the strategy absolutely works,” said Andrews.

The decision-making process is expected to continue well into Saturday night to take advantage of the most accurate data, and Andrews said the changes announced on Sunday would fall into the “low risk” category.

The restrictions placed on outdoor social and family gatherings with the public health team are expected to be relaxed. The controversial travel limit of five kilometers will also be examined in detail and checked to see whether it can be safely increased to 20 kilometers.

On Thursday, Deputy Health Director Allen Cheng said the detailed modeling would take a number of factors into account, including the five-kilometer limit.

Professor McCaw said it “makes sense” to go a larger radius but cautioned against “potentially bringing the virus outside of the subway”.

New figures on the “ring of steel” around the Melbourne subway, criticized as being lax, show that almost 1.9 million vehicles were stopped at the border with 1755 fines and 155 drivers were warned.

Mr Andrews said the government will place more weight on the number of “mysterious cases” – diagnoses of COVID where the source could not be found – than it does on the raw daily numbers.

The last fortnightly list of the state’s mystery cases stands at 17, up from 15 on Thursday, and although none have been recorded since Monday, the prime minister said the numbers remain worrying. The 14-day average of new cases is 9.3.

On Friday, hopes rose that Shepparton, which reported three COVID cases related to the Chadstone-Frankston-Kilmore cluster on Tuesday, could avoid a significant outbreak after performing nearly 2,000 tests with no positive results.

The Prime Minister used a press conference on Friday to get Mr. Andrews to go “as far as possible” on Sunday.

Mr Morrison said the Melburnians “kept their side of the bargain” by adhering to strict lockdowns and suffered as a result.

“Around 70,000 jobs have been lost in Victoria in the past two months. The mental health and anxiety effects on Melburnians and the wider Victorians have been significant, “he said.

State opposition leader Michael O’Brien backed his federal counterpart, saying Victoria would expect the prime minister to provide a clear plan for the lockdown.

“We’ve had some of the toughest locks in the world for so many months, and now it’s time to let us live safely again.” Mr. O’Brien said.

Michael O’Brien in Parliament on Tuesday.Recognition:Jason South

Technologically speaking, there was better news than Andrews said that QR codes, which can be scanned by pub or restaurant patrons’ cellphones as they enter a venue, would become an increasingly important contact tracer tool as Melbourne opens .

“The QR platform is being tested, is effective, and will simply be an electronic method of recording who is where, who is going to a venue. That will be very important, “said the Prime Minister.

Companies are deploying QR technology across the greater Geelong area, including the Bellarine Peninsula, as well as Ballarat and Bendigo.

David Gandolfo of the Australian Small Business Council said Victoria’s second wave was not caused by retailers or small businesses, and advocated that some security be given to the sector.

Mr Gandolfo said small business owners needed time to buy stocks, to work out rosters and employees.

“People need a plan,” he said.


“If that’s not the case on Sunday, especially when the numbers have been so good and the effort people have made, then I think the people’s spirits will be broken.”

Paul Guerra, chairman of the board of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the retail and hospitality sectors want and expect good news on Sunday. Failure to find at least a clear path out of the closure is catastrophic.

“Businesses need security, and retail and hospitality in particular, need line of sight to have a really strong Christmas trading period,” Guerra said.

“We’ll be really concerned if that line of sight isn’t there because we know this will be disastrous news for business owners, mom and dad retailers, mother and dad hospitality owners.”

With Liam Mannix and Tom Cowie

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Noel Towell is the state policy editor for The Age

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