Victorian businesses in ‘crisis’ demand reopening road map

Victorian businesses are in "crisis" as the state edges towards being the most lockdown region in the world.

The state's lockdown has been extended until 70 per cent of residents have their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The majority of the state will remain shut until October at least, but Premier Daniel Andrews said it was hoped lockdown in regional Victoria – excluding the Shepparton area – would be able to end from next week.

READ MORE: NSW on track to reach major vaccine milestone today

But his refusal to give any clarity about when businesses will be able to reopen has left thousands of people across the sector looking for answers.

"We have business crisis, we have a staff crisis, we have a school kids crisis, we have community crisis and sadly, we are seeing a mental health crisis all layering on top of what started off as a COVID crisis," Victorian Chamber of Commerce CEO Paul Guerra told Today.

EXPLAINED: Full list of restrictions easing in Victoria, pathway out of lockdown

"We need a plan to get out of this and we need a plan to get out of it fast.

"There was a glimmer of hope for regional Victoria but again there is no details around that and that's what we want to see. Let's at least get some parts of the state opening."

By September 23, Melbourne would have spent 235 days in hard lockdown.

Mr Guerra has likened the endless cycle of lockdown to a dangerous game of Monopoly.

"Quite simply, we have been going around the Monopoly board now for the last six or seven weeks and we have got another eight weeks in front of us," he said.

"And those lucky enough to make it through the week get to go and here is another couple of hundred dollars and off you go again.

"Meanwhile, costs are raking up and there is not enough money to pay it. And we know how Monopoly ends – not everyone survives and that's the danger here."

Yesterday Victoria recorded 120 new cases of the virus, with a slight easing of some restrictions to be eased from tonight.

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