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Morrison calls for Victoria to follow the NSW model and reopen small businesses immediately

The Morrison government says that whilst the Premier’s announcement of the Victorian Government’s decisions today enable some businesses to return to a limited COVIDSafe operation, many remain closed.

We understand and sympathise with the frustration and concern expressed by businesses about the ongoing cost and impact on their jobs and livelihoods of this second wave.

Victoria’s three-day rolling average is now below two cases per day. Maintaining this result will make a strong case for the retail and hospitality sectors to reopen before the next review date in November. This should remain under active consideration.

Every day Victoria remains under restrictions to get the second wave in Victoria under control comes at a heavy cost.

Throughout the lockdown more than 1000 jobs have been lost, on average, every day. There has also been a 31 per cent increase in mental health services being accessed under Medicare for the same four-week period up to 11 October in Victoria compared with last year, whilst it has been only an eight per cent increase in NSW and seven per cent nationally.

Our national health picture indicates we can safely reopen small businesses, retail stores and hospitality venues, as long as we do it with COVIDSafe practices. This involves physical distancing, strong testing, vigilant contract tracing systems and COVIDSafe plans for all businesses.

The national picture is a positive one, we are now seeing a vast improvement in case numbers and where outbreaks emerge, they are successfully being managed, such as we have seen in NSW.

We all know this upcoming Christmas is going to be different to ones we have celebrated in the past, however by working together and allowing for the reopening of small and large businesses, venues and industries we can take a little of the strain away.

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