COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne City may result in 250,000 job losses: Victorian premier

By: |
August 4, 2020 6:44 PM

Andrews on Monday announced shutting up thousands of businesses in the city as of Thursday under the tougher measures to enforce the stage 4 lockdown for the next six weeks period.

"Unless we have literally hundreds of thousands of people at home and not going to work then we will not pull this virus up, we will not see those numbers reduce," Andrews said.“Unless we have literally hundreds of thousands of people at home and not going to work then we will not pull this virus up, we will not see those numbers reduce,” Andrews said. (Reuters image)

The impact of the second lockdown across Melbourne City could result in almost 250,000 job losses, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has said as he announced new restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in the country’s second largest state.

Andrews on Monday announced shutting up thousands of businesses in the city as of Thursday under the tougher measures to enforce the stage 4 lockdown for the next six weeks period.

Under the latest restrictions in Melbourne, hairdressers, call centres and many retail businesses will have to shut down while only supermarkets, food stores, liquor shops, petrol stations, pharmacies, convenience stores, newsagents, post offices and outlets selling disability and maternity supplies are allowed to remain open.

“Unless we have literally hundreds of thousands of people at home and not going to work then we will not pull this virus up, we will not see those numbers reduce,” Andrews said.

He estimated that across all industries, about 500,000 people were already working from home and about 250,000 had been stood down since the pandemic began.

The new restrictions are now expected to see another 250,000 workers stay home temporarily, he said.

“That is essentially a million workers who are not travelling to and from work every day,” Andrews said.

New rules to hardware, building and garden stores have been imposed while the construction industry will see tougher rules of reduced capacity workers on sites.

Andrews said there were plans to introduce a permit system to make it easier for essential workers to explain why they were out at night, after curfews were introduced across Melbourne from 8:00 pm to 5:00 am every night.

“People will have a piece of paper that says ‘this is where I work, this is what I do’,” he said, adding “That’s going to be a simple, common-sense process, and we’ll have more to say about that soon.”

The premier said that the construction was the “lifeblood” of the state economy but it would be downsized to a “pilot light” phase for the next six weeks.

Andrews said the residents were also not allowed to have cleaners or gardeners.

On Tuesday, Andrews confirmed 439 new cases in the last 24 hours and 11 more new deaths from the virus.

The national death toll now stands at 232 deaths while the total active cases across Australia are 7360.

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