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Eased restrictions a major step forward

Sunday 06, Dec 2020

The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) today welcomed changes to COVID-19 restrictions that will allow event venues and attractions to return to 75 per cent capacity in seated venues, and 50 per cent in unseated venues, up to a cap of 1000 people.

VTIC CEO Felicia Mariani also welcomed new density limits replacing patron caps in pubs, restaurants and cafes, the removal of caps on tour numbers, and the easing of mask requirements.

“The changes announced today for events and attractions are exactly what industry has been asking for and we are encouraged by this big step forward,” Ms Mariani said.

“There is still work to be done on the Victorian Government’s framework for approving public events to ensure it aligns with the different types of events and festivals that operate across the state.

“The confusion and red tape surrounding relatively small events needs to be addressed, and we look forward to continuing to work with government to streamline the process because we don’t want organisers giving up. Events and festivals are a wonderful part of a Victorian summer.”

While welcoming today’s announcements, Ms Mariani warned a two-speed recovery was emerging in the visitor economy.

"It’s great that the regions are firing and so many Melburnians are heading out of the city for a break but we’re seeing a two-speed economy. We’re booming in the regions while Melbourne languishes,” Ms Mariani said.

“We need foot traffic back in the city. Plans to lift the limit on office workers to 50 per cent for private businesses and 25 per cent for the public service on 11 January are great but we need to do more to animate Melbourne.

“We have only 25 per cent occupancy in the 37,500 rooms across Greater Melbourne, at a time of year when we are usually 75-80 per cent full. That’s a dire situation and we need to be focused on business events, business travel and activities that will bring people back into town to support the accommodation and attractions sectors that are so important to jobs and the state’s visitor economy.”