Back to work on Monday: Melbourne’s CBD revival can begin

Original article by Shannon Deery, John Dagge
Herald Sun – Page: 11 : 15-Jan-21

The Victorian government has advised that 50 per cent of private sector employees will be able to return to working in offices from 18 January, while 25 per cent of public sector workers will be permitted on-site. The government expects to further increase the capacity limits in late February, subject to public health advice. Meanwhile, office staff will no longer be required to wear face masks at work, but employers will have to keep a record of all workers and visitors who attend their premises for more than 15 minutes. Victoria has recorded an eight successive day with no new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases; there are 29 active cases across the state.


You need a permit to go home, Victorians told

Original article by Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 4 : 12-Jan-21

Victoria’s Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien has criticised the state government’s new travel permit system for people who are returning from interstate, describing it as an ‘overreach’. He contends that the system will require Victorians to apply for permission from the government to enter the state even if they have been in a region that has never had a COVID-19 case. Failure to comply with the permit system will attract a fine of nearly $5,000. The government has also launched a ‘traffic light’ advisory system for people intending to travel interstate. Victoria has recorded five consecutive days with no new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases.


Victoria whole again as ring of steel rusts away

Original article by Remy Varga
The Australian – Page: 9 : 9-Nov-20

Victoria has recorded nine consecutive days with no new coronavirus cases. Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a further easing of lockdown restrictions that took effect at 11.59pm on 8 November. Amongst other things, the 25km travel limit in Melbourne has been scrapped and residents will now be free to travel to regional Victoria. The number of patrons that hospitality venues can serve has been increased, while cultural venues such as libraries and museums can reopen with strict rules on the number of patrons. Lockdown measures will be further eased on 23 November, although Andrews says face masks are likely to remain mandatory for some time. There are now just four active COVID-19 cases in Victoria, compared with 42 in New South Wales.


Hotel handed $500k to quarantine no one

Original article by Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 1 & 11 : 6-Nov-20

The Victorian government’s handling of its hotel quarantine program has come under renewed scrutiny. It has been revealed that the Sands Golf Resort in Torquay was paid $511,500 to house returned travellers under two state government contracts. However, the resort was not used as a quarantine hotel, and the Chinese-linked company that owned it subsequently went into administration. The company was also sanctioned for visa fraud less than a week before it was awarded the first government contract. The inquiry into the quarantine program will release its interim report on 6 November.


Victorian aged care homes in clear

Original article by Alex White
Herald Sun – Page: 15 : 6-Nov-20

Victoria has recorded its sixth consecutive day with no new coronavirus cases, while the number of active cases across the state has fallen to 20. The Department of Health & Human Services has also confirmed that there are no active cases in the state’s aged-care sector for the first time since mid-June. The state government is still preparing to further ease lockdown restrictions on 8 November, but it has reiterated the need to keep wearing face masks in public. Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien contends that face masks may not be necessary in open spaces, and he says Victoria should adopt New South Wales coronavirus restrictions. There are 41 active COVID-19 cases in NSW.


Masks here to stay, says Dan Andrews

Original article by Kieran Rooney
Herald Sun – Page: 14 : 5-Nov-20

Victoria has recorded five consecutive days with no new coronavirus cases; there are now just 30 active cases across the state, and Melbourne’s 14-day rolling average of new cases has fallen to 1.7. Premier Daniel Andrews says the state government is on track to announce a further easing of lockdown restrictions on 8 November. However, he has cautioned that wearing a face mask in public places is likely to remain mandatory in the near-term, arguing that Victorians must not become complacent. Meanwhile, there are 49 active locally-acquired COVID-19 cases in NSW.


Victoria eases exit map goals

Original article by Tom Burton
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 28-Oct-20

Victoria recorded no new coronavirus cases for a second consecutive day on 27 October; the state last did so in early March. The future easing of lockdown restrictions under the government’s revised COVID-19 roadmap plan will now be based on public health advice rather than a certain number of days with no new cases. However, despite the gradual re-opening of the state’s economy, Premier Daniel Andrews has cautioned that face masks are likely to remain mandatory until at least the end of 2020. Meanwhile, New South Wales has recorded 12 new COVID-19 cases, including two that were locally-acquired, while two new cases have been diagnosed in Western Australia.


Travel industry eyes Consumer Confidence index as new report shows close link to holiday intentions

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 28-Oct-20

Newly-released Roy Morgan data shows just how closely travel intentions are linked to Consumer Confidence. With gains in Confidence continuing, the Travel and Tourism industry will be hoping to see Australians’ holiday intentions start to climb out of the chasm caused by COVID-19. The latest Roy Morgan Leading Indicator: Holiday Travel Intention report shows that during the April to June quarter, a period in which the full scale of the pandemic’s effect was becoming apparent, 5.79 million Australians said they intended to take a holiday in the next 12 months. This is well under half the 13.2 million who had that intention in the equivalent quarter of 2019. The report measures intention to travel in the short- to mid-term, rather than simply recording past trips – by doing so it allows the industry to plan strategically. The data is drawn from Single Source, the country’s largest, deepest and longest-running repository of information on consumer behaviour. It shows that people’s intention to travel over the next 12 months is tightly linked to the confidence they are feeling in the overall economy.


Boxing Day Test crowd allowed at MCG after Melbourne lockdown ends

Original article by
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 27-Oct-20

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has conceded that the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions has come too late to allow people to attend the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on 3 November. However, Andrews is confident that the traditional Boxing Day Test at the MCG will be played before a live crowd, although he cautions it is too soon to know how many people will be allowed through the gates. Australia is scheduled to play India in a four-Test series during the upcoming summer; more than 73,000 people were at the MCG for the first day of the Boxing Day match against India in 2018.


New pub and restaurant rules too restrictive

Original article by Stephen Lunn, John Lethlean
The Australian – Page: 5 : 27-Oct-20

Owners of hospitality venues have welcomed the Victorian government’s decision to ease lockdown restrictions, but some warn that the measures do not go far enough. Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to serve up to 20 patrons indoors and 50 outdoors from 11.5pm on 27 October. However, the number of patrons in each room will be restricted to no more than 10. Lucas Restaurant Group CEO Chris Lucas says the density limit needs to be increased to 20, arguing that it will not be commercially viable for some restaurants to open under the revised restrictions.