No early reward for Melbourne business

Mr Andrews said the numbers would need to be in the 30 to 50 band “for a decent period … then we’ll be able to make that call”.

He noted a “passage of time” was required, as well as an assessment of the transmission risks.

The government reopened elective surgery and regional areas will be allowed to increase to 75 per cent of usual surgery activity from Thursday, and 85 per cent from September 28.

Hospitals in metropolitan Melbourne will begin to ramp up to 75 per cent of usual activity from that date.

All Victorian hospitals will move to 100 per cent of usual activity when the state moves to its “COVID Normal”, planned for November 23.

The government also revealed a new $4957 fine for anyone leaving the “ring of steel” that surrounds greater Melbourne for the less restrictive regional areas.

Melbourne restaurateur Chris Lucas: “No city is committed to 14 days of zero infections before they open up their hospitality industry.”
  Arsineh Houspian

Melbourne restaurateur Chris Lucas said restaurants were happy to consider outdoor dining but not at the cost of keeping indoor dining closed.

“We have time and time again pleaded with the government; we have put proposals to the government that clearly demonstrate that the Melbourne restaurant industry can exert world’s best practice when it comes to opening up safely,” said Mr Lucas, who operates the Chin Chin chain.

“We face a monumental shutdown of our industry. No city is committed to 14 days of zero infections before they open up their hospitality industry,” he told radio 3AW.

“When the numbers get down to the similar sort of case numbers that NSW has, somewhere between 10 and 20, we see no reason why we can’t proceed with a sensible, staggered opening of our industry.”

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