THE easing of restrictions is welcome news that will enable every Victorian business to operate, but the restrictions on Greater Melbourne are still too conservative, according to the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

Regional Victoria will take a step closer to COVID-normal with greater limits on hospitality, social gatherings and entertainment while Greater Melbourne will remain under stricter conditions.

Metropolitan businesses in the fitness, recreation, sport and entertainment sectors can open but entertainment, events and large hospitality will still be restricted at a level that limits their viability, VCCI said. The 25km travel limit and requirement to wear a mask outside will go.

VCCI is advocating for a detailed and comprehensive plan from the state government to deal with future COVID-19 outbreaks that formally considers business submissions as well as health advice.

VCCI is proposing the development of a warning system that would help business to respond swiftly to manage the flow of people and focus on geographic areas rather than locking down the entire state.

“Every day under restrictions, Victoria loses events, confidence, reputation, jobs and businesses,” VCCI said.

“The specific requirements around travel to alpine areas is precisely the sort of targeted approach Victoria should adopt. Similarly, the government should publish daily the number of check-ins that are occurring so that compliance is top of everyone’s mind.”

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra said: “The Victorian Chamber welcomes the news that every Victorian business can now open their doors and it’s particularly great news for regional Victoria. However, this is a step at a time we needed a leap for metropolitan Victoria where the restrictions remain too conservative, especially for events, entertainment and larger hospitality operators.

“The Victorian Chamber is advocating for business to have a greater say and certainty going forward and wants to see the state government consult on a detailed plan on how it manages COVID-19, including a warning system with triggers and thresholds and the appropriate response.

“The government has said that we have to wait seven days for further easing but that current restrictions are a day-by-day scenario,” Mr Guerra said yesterday (Wednesday, June 16).

“We are advocating for the restrictions to come off in the same day-by-day manner. If things look good, let’s get going and not be restricted by the major weekly announcement, just as the government would act in increasing restrictions.”