Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has released his government’s plan to reopen metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria under a multi-stage roadmap that will be tied to a decline in daily coronavirus case rates.
Under the roadmap released on Sunday, industries that fall under professional services, including accounting and bookkeeping, will have to remain closed until at least 26 October — the third step in the plan.
For the Victorian government to consider reaching that 26 October reopening date, average state-wide cases will have to fall under five for the previous 14 days.
Once accounting professionals are able to return to the workplace, they will face a restricted level of operation, meaning employees must work from home or a single site where reasonably practicable.
To reach the final stage, which the government terms as “COVID normal”, the state will need to see no new cases for 28 days, no active cases in the state, and no outbreaks of concern for the rest of Australia.
“If we go too far too soon, the modelling also tells us we’d be on track for a third wave by mid-November,” Mr Andrews said.
“That’d mean we’re back to where we are now, maybe even worse. Days, weeks, months of sacrifice — gone. Confidence for business — destroyed. More families suffering. More lives lost.
“I understand there’ll be some people who’ll be disappointed, those who wanted more and sooner. But these are the steady and sustainable steps that our health experts tell us will see us out of this — safely.”
Responding to Mr Andrews’ roadmap, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the plan would come at a “further economic cost” to the country and would be reviewed.
“The Commonwealth government will now consider the Victorian modelling and settings that are being provided to our experts and officials, including our Chief Medical Officer, and await their advice before responding further,” Mr Morrison said.
“Now that we have been advised of the plan and it has been released, we will also seek feedback from Victorian business and industry stakeholders to understand their concerns and seek to ensure they are addressed.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.