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Business owners slam Dan Andrews over crippling coronavirus lockdown 

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business owners slam dan andrews over crippling coronavirus lockdown

Small business owners are seeing red after Daniel Andrews ‘ignored’ them when negotiating the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne.

Victoria recorded just two new coronavirus cases on Sunday, prompting the embattled premier to ease several of Melbourne’s most hated restrictions. 

Under the new rules, groups of up to 10 people from two households can gather outdoors and tennis courts, skate parks and golf courses will reopen. 

Hairdressers will also reopen and outdoor pools will be able to host 30 swimmers, while real estate auctions will go ahead outdoors with up to 10 bidders. 

But the city’s retail, hospitality and personal care traders will likely have to wait another two weeks before opening their doors.

Under the state government’s latest plan, all metropolitan Melbourne retailers can resume trading from 11.59pm on November 1. 

The news was a devastating blow for business owners, who have been crippled by the restrictions.

The city's retail, hospitality and personal care traders will likely have to wait another two weeks before opening their doors

The city's retail, hospitality and personal care traders will likely have to wait another two weeks before opening their doors

The city’s retail, hospitality and personal care traders will likely have to wait another two weeks before opening their doors

As Mr Andrews announced the easing of restrictions at his daily press conference on Sunday, he was confronted by a reporter who accused him of ‘ignoring’ small business owners. 

‘Businesses who thought they might be able to reopen – some say they will not be able survive out of or not be able to survive closed for another two weeks. So why are you ignoring them?’ one reporter asked.

He insisted that he wasn’t ignoring them, but was doing the best he could with the health advice given to him.  

‘To do anything different is irresponsible, completely and utterly irresponsible. I do not offer that leadership. I am doing what is right and what is safe, whether it be popular or not. That is for others to judge,’ he said.

Chrissie Maus, General Manager of the Chapel Street Precinct, told Daily Mail Australia people were furious at the premier.

‘The fact retail and hospitality is still left waiting ’til potentially November is an unjust joke,’ she said on Sunday.

Pubs remain closed under Victoria's next stage of eased restrictions, but could open up within weeks

Pubs remain closed under Victoria's next stage of eased restrictions, but could open up within weeks

Pubs remain closed under Victoria’s next stage of eased restrictions, but could open up within weeks

Hair salons are able to reopen under Mr Andrews latest stage of eased restrictions

Hair salons are able to reopen under Mr Andrews latest stage of eased restrictions

Hair salons are able to reopen under Mr Andrews latest stage of eased restrictions

‘There’s a cloud of anger from Chapel Street Precinct businesses today as this is no longer acceptable or sustainable for our businesses. I would have rather kept the 5km limit and the shops opened.’

Mr Andrews offered a glimmer of hope that there is ‘some optimism, confidence even, that if things continue this week as they have the last five days, we may be able to bring that [date] forward’. 

But business owners with their backs up against the wall and facing certain economic ruin said confidence isn’t enough – they need assurance.  

‘Our businesses should not be forced to suffer one more day of forced closures because of poor contact tracing measures,’ Justin O’Donnell, Chairperson of the Chapel Street Precinct, said.

‘[Do] not make us wait for more harrowing days… If Dan is so confident that he has fixed the issues with Victoria’s contact tracing, then he has no excuse to keep us closed until maybe November.’ 

Ms Maus pointed to the World Health Organisation as further evidence the city should lift lockdowns.

‘The WHO stated they no longer support widespread city lockdowns. WHO understands we must now live with the virus until a vaccine is ready, Daniel Andrews does not,’ she said.

Under the state government's latest plan, all metropolitan Melbourne retailers can resume trading from 11.59pm on November 1

Under the state government's latest plan, all metropolitan Melbourne retailers can resume trading from 11.59pm on November 1

Under the state government’s latest plan, all metropolitan Melbourne retailers can resume trading from 11.59pm on November 1

‘It seems the rest of the country is evolving in their policies but Dan continues on his draconian parade. We must learn to live with the virus and open our businesses up now! 

‘The mental health impact on our business owners and staff is now doing more damage than some realise.’

Victoria Tourism Industry Council chief executive Felicia Mariani said the industry was on track to lose $23 billion in visitor spending at a cost of 165,000 jobs.

‘Businesses large and small were hoping for a lifeline of income from the upcoming (AFL) grand final and Melbourne Cup long weekends,’ she said.

‘These are peak periods that, yet again, the industry will lose.’

Melbourne’s pubs and hotels were also left bitterly disappointed at the further delays.

Australian Hotels Association’s Victorian branch president David Canny labelled the indoor patron limit ‘unrealistic and unviable’ for Melbourne publicans.

‘Pubs are accumulating debt at an alarming rate under ongoing forced COVID shutdown of the industry,’ he said.

‘I fear a number of local pubs might not survive with costs amounting to almost $10,000 per week ($250,000 over the lockdown period), and up to $25,000 per week for larger pubs.’

Modelling has previously estimated the lockdown costs Victoria’s economy about $1 billion a week. 

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has announced a number of social restrictions will be eased from midnight with businesses told they will have to wait another couple of weeks before reopening

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has announced a number of social restrictions will be eased from midnight with businesses told they will have to wait another couple of weeks before reopening

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has announced a number of social restrictions will be eased from midnight with businesses told they will have to wait another couple of weeks before reopening

The 5 kilometre travel restriction will be extended to 25 kilometres from 11.59pm on Sunday

The 5 kilometre travel restriction will be extended to 25 kilometres from 11.59pm on Sunday

The 5 kilometre travel restriction will be extended to 25 kilometres from 11.59pm on Sunday

VICTORIA’S PATHWAY OUT OF LOCKDOWN 

The state government has mapped a new pathway out of lockdown for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria that depends on stamping out COVID-19 cases in the community which have an unknown source.

METROPOLITAN MELBOURNE

STEP ONE: From 11:59pm Sunday

* Two-hour outdoor time limit scrapped

* 5km travel restriction extended to 25km

* Outdoor gatherings up from five to 10

* Face-to-face allied health appointments to resume

* Tennis courts, golf courses and skate parks will reopen

* Outdoor swimming pools open to a maximum of 30 swimmers

* Hairdressers can reopen

* Outdoor real estate auctions permitted with up to 10 people, plus staff

STEP TWO: From 11:59pm on November 1:

* Up to two people, plus dependents, allowed to visit a home per day

* All retail shops can open

* Hospitality: maximum of 20 indoor seated customers (subject to one per four sqm), maximum of 50 outdoor patrons (subject to one per two sqm)

* Beauty and personal care services open

* Wedding groups of up to 10 permitted

* Up to 20 mourners allowed at funerals

* Outdoor religious gatherings and ceremonies capped at 20 people

MAJOR RESTRICTIONS REMAIN:

* Approved face masks must be worn at all times outside home

* Work from home if possible

* All businesses must have a COVID-safe plan    

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The premier said the upcoming state budget would outline the scale of the damage to businesses and how the government intends fixing it.

‘You cannot fix the economy and repair the damage that this virus has done to the economy until you deal with the virus,’ Mr Andrews said.

Despite recording just five coronavirus cases in the last three days – compared to 17 cases in NSW – Melburnians are still banned from inviting friends over to their house. 

Mr Andrews reiterated that Victorians would not be allowed to gather and celebrate the upcoming AFL Grand Final next weekend. 

‘You cannot have friends over into your home. You cannot pretend that it is over because we all desperately want it to be,’ he said.

‘I know that many people would normally spend time with family and friends to celebrate that day … it is a big part of who we are.’

‘As important as it is, in a cultural sense, in a very passionate way, for every single football fan across our state, it is not worth risking all that we have done, all that we have built, all that we can do in just a few days’ time by having gatherings that are unsafe.’    

Under Andrews’ relaxed lockdown beginning Monday, outdoor maintenance and repair workers, mobile pet groomers and photographers will also be allowed to return to work.  

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34525458 0 image a 16 1602999229166

The cap on outdoor gatherings will be increased to 10 people from two households 

For months, Melburnians have only been permitted to travel within a 5km radius of their home and only for a maximum period of one or two hours.

‘I’ve announced today what is safe but what will not undermine the efforts that Victorians have put in,’ Mr Andrews said. 

‘Victorians have done an amazing job over recent weeks and months.

‘We in Melbourne and Victoria are well placed to have a COVID safe summer. Yes these lockdowns have come with significant pain and damage, but this strategy is working.’  

In August Victoria was reporting more than 700 COVID-19 cases each day. For the past five days, the state has had single-digit new diagnoses each day.

The latest rolling daily case count is 7.5 in metropolitan Melbourne for the fortnight up to Saturday. Regional Victoria’s two-week average is 0.5. 

Mr Andrews also announced a raft of changes coming into effect in regional Victoria from 11.59pm on Sunday.

Hospitality venues outside of Melbourne will increase their capacity to 70 people outside and 40 people inside.   

Mr Andrews offered a glimmer of hope that there is 'some optimism, confidence even, that if things continue this week as they have the last five days, we may be able to bring that [date] forward'

Mr Andrews offered a glimmer of hope that there is 'some optimism, confidence even, that if things continue this week as they have the last five days, we may be able to bring that [date] forward'

Mr Andrews offered a glimmer of hope that there is ‘some optimism, confidence even, that if things continue this week as they have the last five days, we may be able to bring that [date] forward’

Outdoor religious gatherings will also increase to 20 people, and the cap will be extended again to 50 people from midnight on November 1.

Mr Andrews revealed the ‘ring of steel’ border closures between Melbourne and regional Victoria would remain closed. 

‘Victorians in every community, in every circumstance have stayed the course,’ Mr Andrews said.

‘We have just a little longer to go to beat that second wave and then find that normal and find that process of rebuilding.’ 

Federal health minister Greg Hunt has urged the Victorian government to ease restrictions in line with NSW.

‘The epidemiological conditions for a COVID-safe reopening of hospitality, movement (and) family reunions among others, have now been firmly met,’ Mr Hunt posted on Twitter on Saturday.

‘Victoria should now be able to move to the next step in line (with) NSW.’

However Mr Andrews said Mr Hunt was not an epidemiologist and accused him of ‘playing games’, adding that he would not be rushed to lift restrictions.

Health authorities continue to investigate Victoria’s 15 cases for the fortnight up to Thursday which have no known source. 

Health authorities continue to investigate Victoria's 15 cases for the fortnight up to Thursday which have no known source (pictured, a COVID-19 pop-up clinic at Shepparton)

Health authorities continue to investigate Victoria's 15 cases for the fortnight up to Thursday which have no known source (pictured, a COVID-19 pop-up clinic at Shepparton)

Health authorities continue to investigate Victoria’s 15 cases for the fortnight up to Thursday which have no known source (pictured, a COVID-19 pop-up clinic at Shepparton)

DAN ANDREWS VS CANBERRA 

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has been able to ease some of his state’s COVID-19 restrictions but his row with the federal Liberal MPs has deepened.

Mr Andrews has reiterated he wants no part of the travel bubble that started on Friday with New Zealand at this stage but revealed 55 Kiwis have apparently turned up in his state after landing in NSW.

‘We have been able to find 23 … we are still working to find the balance,’ he said on Sunday.

‘We have been given a list, 12 hours after they arrived. We are ringing them, one of them was in Byron Bay.’

But acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge insists Victorian chief medical officer Brett Sutton was at the meeting where authorisation was given for individuals who arrived in Sydney from New Zealand to then travel to Victoria.

‘So the Victorian government was present when it was discussed, they were made aware that this was going to occur, they raised no objections in the meetings,’ Mr Tudge told reporters.

But Mr Andrews said this was not the case.

‘Seriously, my advice to minister Tudge is, instead of stubbornly defending this, work with us and let’s make sure Victoria is not part of a bubble we never agreed to be in,’ the premier said.

Mr Andrews has been able to ease some of his state’s stiff COVID-19 restrictions after reporting just two new cases on Sunday after one on Saturday.

Among the state’s relaxation of restrictions, from Monday Melburnians will be allowed to travel 25km from home, while there will be no limits on time spent away from their residence.

But the state capitals businesses must wait longer for eased restrictions, with Mr Andrews confirming changes to retail, hospitality and ‘personal care’ services won’t change until November.

‘I know and understand that not everything that everybody wanted is in the announcements I have made today,’ he said.

‘I just make this point, I have announced today what is safe.’

Just hours before the announcement, cabinet minister Karen Andrews joined an ever growing queue of federal Liberal MPs putting pressure on the premier to ease his restrictions.

‘We hope that Daniel Andrews shows the leadership that is needed in Victoria,’ she told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

‘Daniels Andrews actually has shown himself to be a lockdown leader, we actually want that to change.’

The day before Mr Andrews accused federal Health Minister Greg Hunt of ‘playing games’ after he urged the Victorian leader to move to the next step in line with NSW.

Federal Labor front bencher Tanya Plibersek was unimpressed.

‘I think it’s actually really gross that federal Liberal MPs are trying to use this as an attack on Daniel Andrews,’ she told ABC television’s Insiders.

‘He hasn’t done it for popularity, he’s done it because he’s considered it the right thing to do. The federal government ought to be looking at its own role in Victoria’s difficulties including aged care.

 

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Australia

Victoria records just one new covid case overnight and no deaths

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victoria records just one new covid case overnight and no deaths

Victoria recorded just one new coronavirus case and no deaths overnight, as pressure increases for Premier Dan Andrews to ease restrictions this Sunday. 

Despite a concerning outbreak in the city’s north, Melbourne restrictions are still set to be relaxed as planned this weekend.

‘There is a power of work going on in the northern suburbs,’ the Premier said.

‘These is a very significant number of people that are very well contained at the moment. That means we should get low case numbers back.’

With just five new infections — all linked to known outbreaks – the state’s active case numbers has dropped to 105.

Opposition spokeswoman Georgie Crozier was critical of Premier Andrews, stating making Victorians wait until the weekend announcement created ‘uncertainty’ for countless struggling businesses.

‘We want to be let out on Sunday,’ she told the Herald Sun.

‘Daniel Andrews keeps promising but there is still some uncertainty for businesses about the decision he will make on Sunday.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Shocking moment private school boys in coronavirus-riddled Melbourne enjoy muck-up day

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shocking moment private school boys in coronavirus riddled melbourne enjoy muck up day

Students from an elite private school will avoid fines despite breaching coronavirus restrictions during wild muck-up day celebrations.

Dozens of Year 12 students from Melbourne‘s Marcellin College in Bulleen were spotted drinking alcohol and throwing flares as well as eggs on Wednesday.

Dressed in black body suits underneath their uniforms, some also were spotted carrying water pistols.

Students from Marcellin College (pictured) in Melbourne's north-east, letting off flares during muck up day celebrations

Students from Marcellin College (pictured) in Melbourne's north-east, letting off flares during muck up day celebrations

Students from Marcellin College (pictured) in Melbourne’s north-east, letting off flares during muck up day celebrations

Students were spotted throwing eggs, letting off flares and drinking alcohol in chaotic scenes

Students were spotted throwing eggs, letting off flares and drinking alcohol in chaotic scenes

Students were spotted throwing eggs, letting off flares and drinking alcohol in chaotic scenes

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius confirmed the students won’t be issued individual fines for $1,652 – despite breaching coronavirus restrictions.

He said the students had endured a ‘terrible year’ amid the pandemic.

‘Police will always be understanding particularly when it comes to children,’ Mr Cornelius said.

‘I know schools have been working very hard to try and support their students in what has been a terrible year for them.

‘But the key advice here is mums, dads, and schools…please support your kids in doing the right thing.’    

According to 9News, some Marcellin College students were banned from their end of year celebration assembly following the incident – but will return to school to sit their final VCE exams.  

School principal John Hickey reportedly drove around the school surrounds in Melbourne’s north-east to ensure students were ‘behaving.’

In Victoria, fines of $1,652 are given out to those found to be breaching coronavirus restrictions, including gathering in large groups or non-essential travel. 

The students (pictured) have escaped fines of $1652 - despite breaching COVID-19 rules

The students (pictured) have escaped fines of $1652 - despite breaching COVID-19 rules

The students (pictured) have escaped fines of $1652 – despite breaching COVID-19 rules

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius (pictured above) confirmed the students won't be issued fines - despite breaching coronavirus restrictions

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius (pictured above) confirmed the students won't be issued fines - despite breaching coronavirus restrictions

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius (pictured above) confirmed the students won’t be issued fines – despite breaching coronavirus restrictions

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Cop stabbed and two men on the run after they rammed stolen Maserati in Sydney’s west 

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cop stabbed and two men on the run after they rammed stolen maserati in sydneys west

A man has been arrested and two others are on the run after they allegedly smashed into a police car with a stolen Maserati and stabbed an officer.

Police travelling along Evelyn Street at Macquarie Fields in Sydney’s west on Thursday spotted the luxury car, which had been reported stolen on Tuesday.

They followed the car onto Oakley Road and signalled for the driver to stop but a pursuit began when it refused to pull over.

A man has been arrested and two others are on the run after they allegedly smashed into a police car with a stolen Maserati (pictured after the crash) and stabbed an officer

A man has been arrested and two others are on the run after they allegedly smashed into a police car with a stolen Maserati (pictured after the crash) and stabbed an officer

A man has been arrested and two others are on the run after they allegedly smashed into a police car with a stolen Maserati (pictured after the crash) and stabbed an officer

When the driver reached the end of the road it allegedly slammed the Maserati (pictured) into a marked police car

When the driver reached the end of the road it allegedly slammed the Maserati (pictured) into a marked police car

When the driver reached the end of the road it allegedly slammed the Maserati (pictured) into a marked police car 

The pursuit was stopped due to safety concerns before the Maserati drove down a dead end on Wedderburn Road.

When the driver reached the end of the road it allegedly slammed into a marked police car.

Three occupants got out of the Maserati and fled the scene on foot with one of the men, 25, running into nearby bushland.

He allegedly stabbed a senior constable in the hand with a screwdriver and was arrested a short time later. 

The 25-year-old was taken to Campbelltown Police Station and charged with taking without consent of the owner, wounding a person with intent to resist arrest, assaulting a police officer and drug possession.

He was refused bail and is due to appear at Campbelltown Local Court on Friday. 

The remaining two occupants, including the driver of the vehicle, remain on the run from police despite Dog Squads and Polair looking for them throughout Thursday.

Police are still looking for the two men are urge anyone with information to contact Crimestoppers.  

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34728298 8870071 image a 6 1603404024317

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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