The second Melbourne COVID-19 lockdown has started today with 6-week restrictive laws beginning another domino effect of disruption for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.
As of this morning, metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire have been placed under a “stay at home” order for the next six weeks, which means there are now only four reasons individuals are allowed to leave their house.
- Shopping for food or other essential items
- To provide care for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment
- For exercise (outdoor exercise only, with only one other person or members of your household)
- To work or study, if you cannot work or study from home
Otherwise, an estimated five million people living in Melbourne or Mitchell Shire must stay at home and not travel to anywhere else within regional Victoria.
The new restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Melbourne come as devastating and chaotic news for the travel and tourism industry who had only just seen business beginning to get going again since the first lockdown ended on 1 June.
Given we are halfway through the school holidays, the rapidly implemented lockdown means more disruption with overnight stays anywhere now banned along with flights and visits to any tours or attractions which have been forced to close. Not to mention restaurant’s, cafés, bars and pubs.
Travel agencies and retailers in general in Melbourne’s lockdown zones will also now be entering into another bout of rental negotiations with landlords as they urge the Victorian government to clarify whether or not they can stay open.
A number of Melbourne shopping centres are planned to close with the SMH reporting that billionaire Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments said it would shut its stores across 36 shopping centres and seven strip malls in the region for the “foreseeable future”.
The company, which owns brands such a Jay Jays, Just Jeans and Smiggle, has again declared it would not pay rent at its closed stores for the lockdown’s duration. “As loved as our brands are by our customers, they are clearly not an essential service,” the company said.
In response to the lockdown, Queensland Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk has announced further restrictions by completely closing its borders to Victorians from midday tomorrow, July 10.
Previously, Victorians were still allowed to enter Queensland if they self-quarantined for 14 days at their own expense, but Ms Palaszczuk has announced that would change so that no visitor from Victoria will be allowed to gain access or be able to quarantine in the sunshine state.
Queensland’s border will reopen to all other states except Victoria tomorrow.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has also warned that there is an “extremely high” likelihood the Victorian outbreak could enter the state and is expected to make an announcement today on new restrictions in and out of the state on top of the current border closure between VIC and NSW.
All of this spells more disruption and chaos for the travel industry in Victoria and beyond thanks to the logistical nightmare and domino effect of cancellations, rebookings, credits and more refunds for the travel and tourism industry to have to deal with.
To everyone in Melbourne and indeed Victoria, we’re thinking of you.
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