Melbourne will not be able to reach its goal of taking the next step out of the blockade, but some restrictions will be relaxed next Monday.
This decision has frustrated retailers who insist that they should be allowed to open.
After Prime Minister Daniel Andrews admits that the daily number of cases will not drop any further, the Victorian director of one of the US’s peak industry groups says the retail sector should be allowed to reopen.
Andrews said on Monday that an average of about 10 proceedings a day were “as good as possible,” and the state was heavily regulated, despite a slight increase in the risk of a surge in proceedings if the rules were relaxed. He said that various mitigations could be implemented.
However, Premier said retail rules are unlikely to change on Sunday when some social restrictions are relaxed.
On Tuesday morning, Australian industry group Tim Piper said closing non-essential retailers helped to achieve a strategy to limit movement and thereby curb the spread of the virus.
“But we’re at a stage where we’re not going any further,” he said.
“”[Mr Andrews’ announcement on Monday] It was literally very intriguing for all businesses in Victoria. Because there was a strong expectation that we would return to the deck.
“In the last few weeks, all the signs that could occur have been shown.”
Piper told ABC Radio National that many companies, including hairdressers with Perspecs screens, have already implemented COVID safe plans in anticipation of opening.
The Victorian Parliament is reopening today and the Daniel Andrews administration is expected to face new scrutiny of the turmoil in the hotel’s quarantine program.
The failure of the program has so far claimed two political scalps. Health Minister Jenny Mikakos and Public Services Secretary Chris Eccles have both resigned.
Opposition parties will move a motion of no confidence in the prime minister this week, but it is unlikely to get support from the Labor Party’s legislative assembly, which has a majority of 55-38.
Meanwhile, the state’s chief health officer also told ABC Radio that there was no evidence that an inadequate personal protective equipment protocol played a role in the outbreak at Box Hill Hospital, which increased to 11 cases on Monday.
Professor Wilson said fit tests, in which high-quality masks are properly worn on each healthcare worker’s face, have not yet been deployed in all hospitals in Victoria.
“It is planned to develop the program by the end of this month,” he added, adding that the fit test was conducted at several hospitals in the northern and western suburbs.
“It’s a complex program to set up and runs everything very quickly and across our huge healthcare system, but it’s definitely underway and moving forward.
“Despite the presence of patients in the hospital, the number of infected workers is declining because people are doing different things.”
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Paul is a reporter for The Age.
Place of originVictoria recorded 12 more COVID-19s, one dead