It’s Groundhog Day for struggling Melbourne retailers with the city plunged into its fifth lockdown since the pandemic began, according to the National Retail Association (NRA).
Earlier today the State Government announced a lockdown would commence from midnight tonight until Tuesday.
NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said affected retailers stood to lose a combined $750 million.
“Retailers understand the need to keep the community safe, but our Melbourne members will certainly be frustrated by another lockdown – it really is Groundhog Day,” Ms Lamb said.
“Even a short, sharp and successful lockdown can have a giant impact on businesses forced to close. Not only do they forgo revenue for the days they’re unable to trade, but reopening is not like flicking on a light switch – rosters need to be organised, stock needs to be ordered, and protocols need to be implemented.”
“The NRA forecasts that affected retailers stand to lose $750 million.
Ms Lamb said retailers were doing their part to encourage an uptake of vaccinations to transition beyond lockdowns.
“The retail sector is leading from the front in encouraging Australians to get vaccinated. With a substantial number of retail workers interacting constantly with members of the public as part of their job, the sector appreciates the need to assist with the vaccine rollout,” Ms Lamb said.
“Some retailers have provided a half-day paid leave to enable workers to get inoculated. While other incentives include providing benefits such as frequent flyer points and membership programs.
“As a peak industry body, we look forward to further engagement on this issue from both the Federal Government and other business groups to get Australia back to normal as quickly as possible.”
Restrictions in Victoria
From 11:59 pm on Thursday, 15 July 2021 to Tuesday, 20 July 2021, Victoria will enter a 5-day snap lockdown.
The only reason to leave your home during this period for one of the five reasons: sourcing essential supplies, getting vaccinated, care and caregiving and exercise and essential work.
Exercise and shopping will be limited to 5km from Victorians’ homes. Exercise is allowed for two hours a day with household members, your partner, or one other person who is not from your household.
Masks will need to be worn everywhere except in your own homes and no visitors are allowed in homes.
More will be announced tomorrow on support for affected businesses.
RETAIL TRADE RESTRICTIONS DURING LOCKDOWN
Non-essential retail will not be permitted to open. Essential providers are classed as:
- a supermarket, grocery store, bakery, butcher, fruit and vegetable store or fishmonger
- an indoor or outdoor market, but only to obtain groceries or fresh food
- a restaurant, café, pub, bar or hotel, whether licensed or unlicensed, but only to the extent that: (a) it provides takeaway meals or drinks or a meal delivery service; or (b) it provides food or drink to the homeless
- a bottle shop
- a financial institution
- consular and diplomatic services; or g. court, tribunal or commission services
- a post office
- a news agent
- a pharmacy
- a petrol station (including a petrol station that sells groceries)
- vehicle and mechanical repair services
- a pet store or veterinary clinic
- urgent services necessary for the health and safety of any person, animal or premises
- essential child protection activities
- a childcare or family day care provider
- a school, but only to the extent that education services are provided to the child of an essential worker or to vulnerable children
- a ‘click and collect’ service.
If you work at an essential provider, you are classified as an essential worker and can attend work.
Face masks are mandatory indoors (not at home) for anyone aged 12 and above, unless an exception applies.
Face masks must now also be worn outdoors at all times.