Australia’s two most populous states, NSW and Victoria, have eased Covid restrictions from today, moves retailers expect will make it easier for regular trading.
In Victoria, density limits will ease in hospitality venues, and check-ins will no longer be required at supermarkets and retail stores, however rules requiring face masks to be worn indoors will remain in place. Patrons must still use QR codes to check in at restaurants and entertainment venues.
“We thank the Victorian Government for the easing of restrictions announced today and we’re looking forward to health measures being relaxed further in the coming days,” said Paul Zahra, CEO of Australian Retailers Association (ARA).
“Today’s changes are a show of good faith to business and the community that pandemic protocols will be removed when it’s safe to do so,” he added.
To increase foot traffic in the Melbourne CBD, the government is planning to release dining vouchers next week.
Zahra notes that CBDs are a concern across the country, as the capital cities are a far cry from being thriving hubs as they were once before.
“The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way our city’s function and we need to look at bold ideas to inject them with new life. It’s important there’s a continued collaborative approach between government, business and industry and we acknowledge the efforts that have been made by state and territory governments in this regard.”
In NSW, Premier Dominic Perrottet has scrapped all density restrictions in the state, making QR check-ins required only in nightclubs and at music festivals.
“We’ve been working closely with the NSW Government on how we can breathe new life into the Sydney CBD and look forward to continuing those discussions on accelerating its post-Covid recovery,” added Zahra.
Masks are no longer mandatory in an indoor setting from February 25 although they must be worn on public transport, aged care facilities and in hospitals.