Some back on the road, but it’s not life as we knew it

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Grey nomads in Victoria
The new restrictions in Melbourne are being strictly enforced.

If the planned re-opening of many state borders in the coming days and weeks led anyone to think that it would soon be ‘business as usual’ for the grey nomad lifestyle … the Victorian coronavirus outbreak has well and truly shattered that illusion.

With Melbourne now under strict lockdown measures and Victorians largely restricted from leaving the state, things are very, very far from returning to normal.

Even in other parts of the country which have not seen a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, the impact of what is happening in Victoria is still being felt.

The speed with which the outbreak spiralled out of control certainly serves as a timely reminder to all Australians that what is happening in Melbourne can happen anywhere.

One of the great fears in Victoria of course is that the serious spike in cases which has so far largely been confined to Melbourne itself will spread into regional communities.

And that’s why we are seeing the once unthinkable sight of Defence Force personnel and police officers surrounding Melbourne to enforce the new lockdown.

From a public health perspective, the decision is easy to understand … but the economic effect it has on the communities it is designed to protect will be huge nonetheless.

Victorians travelling across their own state deliver 80% of tourism performance for the regions, and a large proportion of that visitation is from Melburnians. Early figures by the Accommodation Association place the loss for regional Victoria from the Melbourne six-week shutdown alone at $350m.

Felicia Mariani from the Victorian Tourism Industry Council said the new lockdown would be ‘a seismic shock to an industry that has already been crippled under the weight of restrictions across the state’.

While the tourism sector was the first to be impacted by coronavirus, it would ‘probably be the last one to recover’, she said.

“The tourism and events industry fully understands the need to urgently gain control of this outbreak so we can get the state back on the pathway to recovery that other states are already moving toward,” she said. “These measures, however, are likely to be a blow that many tourism businesses across the state will simply not recover from,”

Ms Mariani however welcomed the announcement form Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews that regional Victoria may see a different speed at which restrictions will be eased.

“Most parts of regional Victoria have been largely unaffected and should not suffer as a consequence of issues in Melbourne,” she said.

In a separate development, Queensland has announced that visitors from Victoria will no longer gain access or be able to quarantine in Queensland but will be physically turned around. Queensland residents will still be allowed to return from Victoria, although they will be required to quarantine.

  • Has the Victorian ‘spike’ reminded you of just how much of a threat the coronavirus still is? Has it made you re-think any travel plans? Comment below.
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One Response to Some back on the road, but it’s not life as we knew it

  1. I tried to get back on the road, and now I’m locked down…again!
    Lesson learned, this could have happened anywhere at any time. Don’t be complacent out there fellow nomads! With the great migration of Victorians I witnessed heading north as I was heading south, I’d say the genie has been well let out of the bottle. Proceed with caution out there people! Stay safe, and help keep everyone else safe too!

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