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Regional Victoria reopening is a first step on the road to normal

Tuesday 15, Sep 2020

Tourism and travel operators across regional Victoria are ecstatic at the news that restrictions will be eased from midnight tomorrow, with accommodation open in time for the school holidays.

Victoria Tourism Industry Council CEO Felicia Mariani said the early move to step three on the roadmap to reopening was a huge relief for many businesses.

“It’s a big day for regional Victoria. We are excited to see hospitality reopening, with both indoor and outdoor dining in the mix with caps and density limits,” Ms Mariani said.

“Tourist accommodation in the regions will reopen in time for the school holidays, which means regional families can enjoy a break and finally cash will start flowing through businesses that have been closed now for months.

“I urge regional Victorians to get out there and support regional hospitality and accommodation businesses as soon as restrictions ease.”

While everyone is excited about the prospect of opening up regional Victoria, operators in Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley remain subject to the Greater Melbourne lockdown restrictions due to their LGA classification.

“Operators across these two critical regions are hurting and we need to see some recognition of the low occurrence of virus that should allow these areas to reopen safely,” Ms Mariani said

“Operators along the Murray River border with NSW are also still waiting for help in getting their businesses open. Engagement with the NSW government needs to occur to help them get back to business ahead of the upcoming school holidays.”

Ms Mariani said industry looked forward to receiving guidance from government on safe reopening measures.

“The next critical step is getting the guidelines released urgently so operators across our industry understand their obligations in complying with reopening rules,” she said.

“Regional Victorians also need to remain careful as travel and hospitality resumes by maintaining social distancing, good hand hygiene and mask-wearing because we cannot afford to fall back into a third wave.”