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“Trying to work out the logic”: Melbourne Mayor’s lockdown confusion

Melbourne’s Lord Mayor has expressed her “frustration” at the Victorian premier for failing to open the hospitality and retail sectors for another two weeks, delivering a major blow to struggling businesses. Speaking to the Today show, Lord Mayor Sally Capp said “every single day counts” for small business owners who are desperate to open their…

Melbourne’s Lord Mayor has expressed her “frustration” at the Victorian premier for failing to open the hospitality and retail sectors for another two weeks, delivering a major blow to struggling businesses.

Speaking to the Today show, Lord Mayor Sally Capp said “every single day counts” for small business owners who are desperate to open their doors.

“People are trying to work out the logic behind some of these decisions,” she said, when probed about why hairdressers can open but not retail stores.

On Sunday Daniel Andrews outlined the state’s next steps out of lockdown and while several restrictions lifted at midnight Sunday, retail and hospitality businesses will have to wait until November 1 to reopen.

However, the Premier did hint that this could be pushed forward if case numbers remain low.

The cautious approach to reopening indoor venues and the remaining ban on having people over has also sent many Melburnians into a tizz given the AFL grand final kicks off on Saturday.

“It is tough and with the Tigers and Geelong in you can imagine how many fans were planning to get together to make the most of a grand final that’s not here in Melbourne,” she said.

“But we are really hoping that everybody can do the right thing, because for all those small business owners out there, opening a week earlier than currently planned would make a massive difference.”

Ms Capp is encouraging Melburnians to make reservations and bookings in preparation for November 1 in a bid to support their local businesses and get the economy moving again as soon as possible.

“The December quarter is one of the most important quarters for hospitality and retail,” she said.

“It’s the make or break, and so the sooner we can get those stores and venues open safely, the better, and that’s got to be the message this week.

“So people can feel excited about some of the new freedoms here in metro Melbourne, but stay restrained enough to give our small business owners the best chance of opening earlier.”

Victoria recorded just two new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, and no deaths. There are just 15 cases with an unknown source across the state.

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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus.