Victoria has recorded zero deaths from the coronavirus for the first time since July 13 as Premier Daniel Andrews is heavily criticised for a $290million plan to revive Melbourne’s crippled hospitality sector.
The 14-day new case average for Melbourne has also dropped to 52.9 and is only 3.6 for regional Victoria.
Mr Andrews will provide further information on Victoria’s new figures later on Tuesday.
The under-fire premier on Monday unveiled a $290million funding package to help the state’s sole traders and entertainment industry survive when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Mr Andrews said the plan would turn the city into an al fresco dining hub – but the head of Melbourne’s largest restaurant group has already labelled the proposal unworkable.
Masked walkers on South Melbourne Beach on Monday as the world’s heaviest coronavirus restrictions were eased to allow residents two hours exercise time
‘The government thinks this is going to be some sort of outdoor Disneyland for dining, but it’s not going to work,’ Luca Restaurants chief executive Chris Lucas told the Herald Sun.
‘The majority of the city’s restaurants cannot work outdoors. Outdoor dining really only suits cafes, not to mention Melbourne’s problematic weather.’
Mr Andrews compared the revival plan – which will see $100million go towards a Melbourne City Recovery fund to inject life back into the city – to New York’s Open Restaurants initiative.
The program in the US’ largest city involved footpaths, laneways and streets being temporarily transformed into dining areas.
But Mr Lucas said as many as 60 per cent of New York’s businesses could still not be saved by the program.
Computer-generated imagery showed the vision for Victoria’s plan to rejuvenate its hospitality sector after the city’s Stage Four lockdown – but the plan has come under fire from business owners
Premier Daniel Andrews has meanwhile flagged regional Victoria may move to the ‘third step’ of its roadmap plan as early as this week.
That step, allowing people to leave their homes without restrictions and hospitality businesses to reopen, is triggered if its 14-day average remains below five and no ‘mystery’ cases are recorded.
‘There won’t be a lot of notice,’ Mr Andrews told reporters on Monday.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews leaves after addressing a press conference on Monday. Stage Four lockdown restrictions have been eased slightly as of this week, with the curfew eased to 9pm to 5am
‘That is preferable in making people wait for another week or so.
‘Hopefully we can have very good news for regional Victoria tomorrow.’
More to come