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Victorian Government’s new COVID-19 density limits set to further impact entertainment and tourism businesses

Victorian Government’s new COVID-19 density limits set to further impact entertainment and tourism businesses
January 7, 2022

The Victorian Government has reintroduced density limits for indoor venues aimed at reducing the accelerating spread of COVID-19.

Reinstated from 11:59pm last night, the density limits of one person per 2 square metres apply to indoor attractions, entertainment and hospitality venues.

The Victorian Government also announced a raft of "strong recommendations" that people take a rapid antigen test (RAT) before visiting aged care facilities and hospitals, and work from home until late January.

Advising yesterday that about one in 50 Victorians currently had COVID-19, Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley stated “now is the right time to introduce these sensible density quotients in high-risk indoor entertainment and hospitality settings, to reduce the risk of superspreader events that can infect hundreds.”

VTIC says new restrictions will be a blow to already struggling businesses
The Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) has said that the reinstitution of density quotients on indoor hospitality and entertainment venues will present further challenges at a difficult period for these businesses.

Explaining that many of these venues have already been operating at reduced capacities given the difficulty with maintaining adequate staff in the current environment, VTIC Chief Executive, Felicia Mariani stated “businesses across our visitor economy sector have struggled in recent weeks with staff having to isolate and unable to confirm their COVID status, either via RAT or PCR testing.

“While we understand the need to respond to the rapidly escalating COVID numbers across Victoria, our tourism and hospitality businesses are again bearing the brunt of these latest restrictions.

“Consumer confidence has been smashed and we’re seeing experience-based tours and business events being affected, at a time when these sectors were only just getting back on their feet.

VTIC is imploring the Victorian Government to only keep these latest restrictions in place for the limited time necessary to allow the health system to manage the current impacts of this Omicron variant.

Mariani added “with any business support unlikely to be on offer, it’s imperative that we get tourism and hospitality businesses back to operating at as close to ‘COVID-normal’ levels as possible as quickly as we can.”

Image courtesy of VTIC.

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