A fresh lockdown and more stop-start restrictions will be a bitter disappointment for the whole community and show why Australia desperately needs a national framework that lets us live with the virus, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“We can’t go on managing the country like this.
“This is the second lockdown caused by Victoria’s hotel quarantine system, it must not be as long and destructive as the last. We must get hotel quarantine working properly.
“Even a very short lock-down will have monumental social and economic costs.
“Small businesses will now be making decisions about whether to lay-off staff or destroy inventory. Airlines will be cancelling thousands of flights and shifts.
“New outbreaks shouldn’t be a surprise; this is a highly contagious virus, but we know by now that we have to live alongside it.
“New and more contagious strains make getting contract tracing, hotel quarantine and local management right even more important, they are not an excuse for throwing an entire state into hardship.
“Developing a national, proportionate and evidence-based plan to keep people safe and save livelihoods must be our number one priority.
“What matters most is that we have confidence in the systems put in place to manage outbreaks when they happen.
“We urge the Victorian government to work closely with businesses to explain how this will work and the trigger for any further restrictions.
“The Victorian government must now explain why this step is necessary and exactly how this will work for each and every business across the state.
“If NSW can manage a much bigger outbreak, keep the state open and people safe then there is no reason other states can’t do the same.”