Victorian retailers in CBD shuttered in lockdown

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The National Retail Association (NRA) has welcomed news that common-sense has prevailed and that Melbourne retailers will again be open for business from this Friday.

Victorian retailers have lost an estimated $2 billion over a 14-day period following the state being plunged into its fourth lockdown since the pandemic began.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said that businesses across Australia’s second-largest state will be breathing a deep sigh of relief.

“COVID has wreaked havoc across Australia and the world, but Victoria has been dealt a particularly brutal blow,” Ms Lamb said.

“Not only has it been the state’s fourth lockdown, but Victorian businesses have had to navigate this one without the JobKeeper safety net.

“The NRA estimates that the fourth Victorian lockdown has cost retail businesses a collective $2 billion over the 14-day stretch.”

Ms Lamb also urged Victorian consumers to support local retailers while also abiding with all safety protocols.

“We urge shoppers to make a conscious effort to support retailers across Victoria once restrictions are formally lifted,” Ms Lamb said.

“Throughout the pandemic retailers have demonstrated an impeccable ability to enforce and maintain the highest possible safety protocols. Shoppers have nothing to fear by visiting the shops once Victoria comes out of lockdown on Friday.”


Restrictions breakdown

This afternoon the Victorian Government has announced that Melbourne’s lockdown will end as scheduled at 11.59pm tomorrow night.


Melbourne restrictions

From 11:59pm tomorrow night:

  • The five reasons to leave home will no longer apply in metro Melbourne, and the existing 10-kilometre limit will be increased to 25 kilometres. Travel into regional Victoria is not permitted unless unless for travelling for essential work, education, caregiving or vaccination.
  • Restaurants and cafes are permitted to reopen with seated service with a cap of 100 people per venue and a maximum of 50 people inside, subject to the density quotient of 1 person per 4 sqm.
  • Retail can reopen with a density cap of 1 person per 4 sqm. Beauty services can resume where a mask can be worn.
  • Offices can return with a 25 per cent cap, or a cap of 10 people, whichever is greater. However, if you can work from home, you should.
  • The use of the Victoria Service App QR codes remains mandatory.
  • Masks will no longer be required outdoors, but must be worn indoors, except in the home.


Regional Victoria restrictions

From 11.59pm tomorrow night:

  • Food and hospitality venues will see an increase on the amount of people allowed for seated service. The new cap is 154 people per venue subject to the density quotient of 1 person per 4 sqm, with up to 75 seated indoors.
  • Indoor sporting venues, including gyms, can reopen subject to the density quotient of 1 person per 4 sqm.
  • Businesses that are open in regional Victoria but closed in Melbourne – restaurants or beauty for example – must check the IDs of everyone they serve to ensure customers are not Melbourne residents. This is to prevent transmission into the regions.
  • Masks will no longer be required outdoors, but must be worn indoors, except in the home.
  • Travel to Melbourne is possible only for the permitted reasons (ie work if it cannot be done remotely) and Melbourne restrictions will need to be followed for the duration.

Extra cash support for Melbourne businesses

Businesses that will still be affected by restrictions will share a new injection of $8.4 million. A further $2,000 top-up payment will be available to businesses in metropolitan Melbourne that are closed due to extended restrictions announced today, including gyms, dance schools and yoga studios, taking the total amount available to businesses in eligible sectors to $7,000.

Close to 70,000 businesses affected by restrictions beyond Thursday, 3 June 2021 were eligible for an extension payment from $2,500 to $5,000, and around 3,700 businesses will be eligible for the new $2,000 top-up payment.

Tourism businesses in regional and metropolitan Melbourne that receive the Tourism Supplement payment announced on Sunday will not receive this top-up payment. Their payments have already reached $7,000.

Applications for the Business Costs Assistance Program are open and businesses will only need to submit one application to receive their maximum payment. Initial payments started this week.

More information about the Business Costs Assistance Program is available at