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Andrews Opens Some Melbourne Doors – But Business Wants More

MELBOURNE: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday announced major steps toward the re-opening of Melbourne’s economy -– which has effectively been in solid lockdown since July. But many Melburnians believe they don’t go far enough.

Many workplaces across the city will be able to re-open, though quite a few may choose to remain closed. The regulations say the ability to work will change to “if you can work from home, you must work from home”.

Cafes, restaurants and pubs will be able to reopen, outdoor venues can cater for up to 50 participants, while indoors operations will have a limit of 20.

Many retail businesses, including beauty and personal care services, can open for the first time in many weeks

Personal training, fitness and dance classes can be held outdoors with up to 10 people, while the number of people at outdoor pools can increase to 50.

Weddings can host up to 10 people – and funerals up to 20, while outdoor entertainment venues can begin hosting visitors.

A 25-kilometre travel limit will remain in place for the moment, but Andrews says they will be lifted on Sunday, November 8, if the case numbers remain low.

The new arrangements haven’t pleased many Melburnians, particularly business owners.

Jennifer Westacott, CEO of the Business Council of Australia, yesterday said the pattern of “delays, maybes and apologies” doesn’t excuse Victoria’s failure to manage local outbreaks, and recovery is still taking too long.

“It’s disappointing that many businesses will need to wait until November 8 before they have any certainty about reopening,” she said.

“Businesses need a plan now, so they have the confidence to restock their shelves, rehire workers and get ready to reopen their doors.”

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