Yesterday the Victorian Government announced the details of the Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan, our roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Roadmap was developed based on modelling from the Burnet Institute and is set against COVID-19 thresholds including hospitalisation rates, and the vaccination targets already set out in the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response.  The Burnet modelling also shows that the key to opening up and reducing risk in Victoria will be making sure workers across the state are vaccinated.

To help ensure this, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer will assess vaccination requirements for all authorised workers in Victoria. These requirements and potential deadlines will be assessed progressively as the Chief Health Officer considers each sector. There are already vaccine requirements for aged care, construction, and freight workforces.  As we reach 70% and 80% double dose vaccination targets, the Roadmap lists certain venues for opening – but only on the condition that all eligible attendees to the venue are vaccinated.

In terms of events, the Government will conduct trials to support businesses as much as possible in the lead up to transitioning to a ‘vaccinated economy’. Both one-off events and specific venues will be considered – with businesses permitted to operate with higher patron caps if all staff and patrons provide evidence of full vaccination. Areas in regional Victoria with the highest vaccination rates and no COVID-19 cases will be the first to be considered for these trials.

Proof of vaccination options will also be part of the trials. The Service Victoria app will be integrated with a Medicare Certificate that shows proof of vaccination and other proof of vaccination options may also be trialled to determine what works best for both businesses and patrons. The Premier highlighted that vaccination requirements will be a determination by the State Government, not individual businesses.

80% first dose
The indicative date for 80% first dose is 26 September, with metropolitan Melburnians given further freedoms for outdoor socialisation and the travel limit increased to 15km. The tourism sector remains largely closed at this threshold.
For regional Victoria, the current level of restrictions will largely remain once 80% first dose is achieved.

70% fully vaccinated
The indicative date for 70% fully vaccinated is 26 October, with metropolitan Melbourne at that stage seeing the reasons to leave home and the curfew removed. Intrastate travel is permitted, but only within a 25km radius from your home, and up to 10 fully vaccinated or up to 5 unvaccinated people gathering outdoors.  This still means our major source market is unable to visit.

Work from home in metropolitan Melbourne must continue at this stage. A 50 fully vaccinated person cap will be in place for weddings, hot springs, entertainment venues, amusement parks, food and drink facilities and tours. All are outdoor only and must maintain a density quotient of one per four square metres. Accommodation will be open for a single household, intimate partner and bubble buddies only. Tour and transport will remain closed.

For regional Victoria, up to 20 fully vaccinated or 10 unvaccinated people can gather outdoors. Entertainment venues and amusement parks can allow 30 people per space indoors, and up to 300 per space outdoors with a density quotient of one per two square metres. Food and drink facilities can have 30 fully vaccinated patrons indoors with a density quotient of one per four square metres, and 100 fully vaccinated patrons outdoors with a density quotient of one per two square metres.

80% 16+ and 12+ vaccinated
We will see a further easing of restrictions across most sectors of our industry once 80% of 16+ are vaccinated (estimated 5 November), and again at 80% of 12+ vaccinated which we are estimated to reach two weeks later. At 80% of 16+ vaccinated, regional and metropolitan Melbourne restrictions will be aligned.

To view the details of these steps, click the relevant summary below:

Geelong, Surf Coast and Mitchell Shire enter lockdown
Yesterday also saw some of our remaining regional markets closed off with Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire entering into a seven-day lockdown from today until Sunday 26 September. All metropolitan Melbourne restrictions – excluding the curfew – will be implemented in these LGAs.

Recovery Plan for business
There is an urgent need for a recovery plan for business, not just a roadmap of easing restrictions. Our industry needs all the support of the State so we can bounce back from virtual obliteration into profitable entities.  A roadmap of financial and business support will help industry plan in such uncertain times. We need surety around financial support until our source markets are free to travel again. There are so many questions this roadmap raises. Together with VTIC and other stakeholders, DMT will continue to push for answers and advocate for ongoing business support.

Covid Cases
On Saturday we heard the news that we had a positive case visit the Lakehouse last weekend. Yesterday, a couple of tier 2 exposure sites were reported in Woodend and Kyneton.  While these are isolated cases, we are encouraging visitors not to cancel current bookings. Where visitors have been directly impacted,  we are encouraging them to rebook with other accommodation providers and eateries in our amazing region.

In other news, you will be pleased to hear that Steve’s surgery went well last Friday and he is on the road to recovery.

Best wishes,

Acting CEO – DMT