Business groups and epidemiologists respond to eased restrictions in Victoria; Australian death toll stands at 904

Business groups, including the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group and Restaurant & Catering Australia expressed frustration at the delay until November 2 of a reopening of most businesses, although the Australian Retailers Association said a timeline would come as relief.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday sought to provide a more certain path out of lockdown, dumping the previous case number targets and announcing some key easing of restrictions, including no limit on time outdoors, a 25-kilometre travel bubble rather than the previous five kilometres and outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people from two households.

Business groups expressed disappointment at the limited changes announced on Sunday, warning more businesses would fail.

Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said: “This is an inexplicable and unacceptable delay for Victorians and small businesses who are hanging on by a day, not a week.”

Read more about the reaction to Sunday’s announcement here.

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