Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

People have a picnic in a park in Melbourne on Oct. 18, 2020, as the state government announces a lifting of some restrictions as the city battles a second wave of the coronavirus.

WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images

Australia’s state of Victoria, the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, will see more freedom of movement as of Monday after months-long restrictions, but retailers and restaurants must wait longer, making some of the owners unhappy.

After more than 100 days in a strict lockdown that allowed only for two hours of outdoor activity a day, the 5 million people living in Melbourne, Victoria’s capital, will be able to spend as much time exercising outdoors as they wish.

However, people must stay within 25 kilometres (15 miles) of their homes, Premier Daniel Andrews said. Public gatherings will remain tightly limited, and retailers and restaurants must operate only on take-away or delivery orders, with the state government eyeing their reopening by Nov. 1.

Story continues below advertisement

“I know and understand that not everything everybody wanted is in the announcement I have made today,” Andrews told a news conference. “I have announced today what is safe.”

The head of Melbourne’s Chapel Street Precinct Association, a local marketing body representing around 2,200 commercial entities, said there was a “cloud of anger” from their businesses on Sunday.

“The fact retail and hospitality is still left waiting 'til potentially November is an unjust joke,” Chrissie Maus, general manager of the Chapel Street Precinct, said in a statement.

Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, is home to a quarter of its 25 million people and accounts for 25% of economic output, but because of the prolonged lockdown, it makes up now 40% of Australia’s effectively unemployed, according to government data.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison expressed sympathy for the “frustrations” of businesses. Andrews' Labor Party government in Victoria government is in opposition to Morrison’s Liberals.

Morrison said in a statement with the treasurer and health minister that the low number of new cases make a “strong case for the retail and hospitality sectors to reopen before the next review date in November.”

“Every day Victoria remains under restrictions … comes at a heavy cost,” the statement said.

Story continues below advertisement

On Sunday, Victoria recorded two new cases of COVID-19, keeping infections below double digits for a fifth day, down from more than 700 cases a day in early August.

With 816 deaths, Victoria accounts for more than 90% of all lives lost to the COVID-19 in Australia this year. Australia has recorded just over 27,300 infections, according to health ministry data, a fraction of what has been seen in some other countries.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies