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Victorian Government’s COVID easing relaxes rule for pubs but keeps restrictions for gyms and sport facilities

Victorian Government’s COVID easing relaxes rule for pubs but keeps restrictions for gyms and sport facilities
October 18, 2021

With the state approaching an 80% double vaccination rate, the Victorian Government has advised of its latest easing of restrictions from 11:59pm on Thursday, which will allow up to 20 people indoors at pubs, clubs and entertainment venues.

Despite the increase in density limits for hospitality venues and the allowance of household visitors, restrictions on aquatic, fitness and recreation facilities as well as retail shopping have not changed.

These activities businesses will only be able to reopen once the state reaches the 80% vaccination rate for all Victorians over 16.

Victorian business owners have criticised the latest lockdown easings as too conservative, with the

Australian Industry Group's Victorian Head Tim Piper stating that tying the return of retail to the 80% vaccination milestone was the wrong decision.

Piper told the ABC “it's causing business great consternation. It seems like the 80% vaccination figure that we're pursuing is a bit like a lifebuoy

"We're leading into Christmas. It's a really important time for business, it's an especially important time for retailers. Every day matters for businesses."

Why aren’t fitness centres opening at the same time as hospitality?
Industry lobby group VIC Active has questioned the continued restrictions on fitness centres, calling on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Victorian Chief Health Officer (CHO) Brett Sutton to “show us the science that has deemed it unsafe to re-open indoor fitness centres at the same time as hospitality venues?

“After all, you allowed us to re-open at the same time following Lockdown 5 - what has changed now? Let’s not forget that we are approaching the 80% double vaccination rate.”

VIC Active go on to highlight that fitness centres were not even mentioned in Premier Andrew’s statement yesterday, a situation it calls a “disgrace”.

The body’s statement continues “VIC Active can present a huge volume of evidence that demonstrates fitness centres are COVIDSafe. The CHO accepted that fact in late July - what has changed?

“Fitness centres are owned and operated by industry leaders. Staff are trained professionals that look out for each other, but just as importantly look out for the more than 1,000,000 Victorians who are regular gym goers. And we ask that the 40,000 people employed in the fitness industry to hang in there and not let the pandemic move you away from the industry and work you feel so passionate about.

“We know there has been a massive deterioration in the physical and mental health of Victorians - the lag in cancer check-ups, the rampant increase in conditions like obesity, diabetes, liver disease and chronic heart disease and - to echo comments by the Premier and other senior Ministers - Victoria is currently in the midst of a mental health catastrophe!

“We need to get Victorians moving again. We need them active and connected to their friends and communities. VIC Active members will play a pivotal role in helping Victorians heal and return to a healthy normal.

“VIC Active reminds you that fitness centres are COVIDSafe - we practice social distancing, have first rate contact tracing systems and sanitise equipment after each use.”

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15th October 2021 - Victorian Government expands ‘vaccination pop-ups’ at local shops, gyms, cafes and venues

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9th October 2021 - Confusion over NSW Government’s reopening vaccination rulings for gyms and fitness centres

13th October 2021 - Victorian opposition MPs call for early opening of gyms

6th October 2021 - VIC Active takes political sides in urging fitness sector to back state opposition

1st October 2021 - Victorian Premier announces COVID vaccines will be mandatory for all essential workers in the state

29th September 2021 - Victorian Government provides further backing for local sports clubs and leagues

14th September 2021 - Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish ‘perplexed’ by ongoing restrictions on operation of exercise facilities in regional Victoria

3rd September 2021 - Cancellations caused by ongoing lockdowns sees income of Victorian event businesses fall by 80%

2nd September 2021 - Victorian Government to impose stricter rules for unvaccinated athletes at 2022 Australian Open

1st September 2021 - AFL’s Perth Grand Final will not feature fans and media from NSW and Victoria

17th August 2021 - Adventure Tourism Victoria says tourism is dead

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