Victorian Premier released the roadmap out of lockdown amid Federal Governmnet criticise lockdown extension as 'crushing'

Victorian Premier  released the roadmap out of lockdown amid Federal Governmnet criticise lockdown extension as 'crushing'

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has released the state’s pathway out of stage four coronavirus restrictions lockdown this morning and news is grim for Melburnians.

Melburnians, who are living under stage four restrictions, some of the toughest in the world and regional Victorians, under stage three restrictions, have learned about the Government’s long-awaited, four-step plan to ease toward a “COVID-safe normal”.

Not all will be happy with the plan, with metropolitan Melbourne to stay in stage four lockdown with some minor changes, until September 28.

Following the Victorian government announcement, the federal government announced it will scrutinise Mr Andrews’ handling of the pandemic, warning extensions to the lockdown will result in more job losses.

A joint statement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Health Minister Greg Hunt described the Victorian Government's decision to extend stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne for another two weeks as "hard and crushing."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also warned the Victorian government's staged reopening would impose serious economic costs on the state and the nation

The Prime Minister has cast doubt on the modelling underpinning the Victorian government's decision to extend stage four lockdowns and accused the Premier of using the restrictions to avoid investing in the health system.

"Restrictions are not substitutes for strengthening health systems to cope with the virus, especially when community outbreak is brought under control," Mr Morrison said in a joint statement with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Health Minister Greg Hunt.

That was backed by Professor Kidd, who welcomed the news of more automation in Victoria's contact tracing process.

"That is very welcome because it will assist, hopefully, in speeding up the process."

"The Commonwealth stands ready to provide further assistance with contact tracing in Victoria, which is now arguably one of the most important tasks in Australia, if not the most important task."

On Sunday afternoon,  Premier Daniel Andrews delivered the news that the current strict Covid-19  lockdown, which was due to end in mid-September, would now be extended for an extra fortnight in metro Melbourne.

After that, the state will progress through a series of stages with different restrictions eased along the way, until “ Covid normal” is potentially achieved towards the end of the year.

While it has been a devastating blow to everyday citizens struggling under the harsh measures, experts warn it would be even tougher for businesses.

Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra said the lengthy delay to reopen retail on October 26 would be a “death sentence” for many Melbourne retailers.

“Melbourne retailers will have been subject to lockdown  for 13 weeks at that point – and some hair and beauty salons have been closed for five months, which is unprecedented,” Mr Zahra said in a statement.

“Without further financial support, this will certainly permanently wipe out a large number of small businesses and see the closure of many Victorian stores by national retailers.

During this afternoon’s press conference, Mr Andrews hit back at criticism from the Opposition that his coronavirus stance had taken a “wrecking ball to business” in Victoria.

“We have got a job to do here and we have to see this thing off properly otherwise this virus will be back and it will be back worse than it has ever been,” he said.