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While Victorians have woken to more freedom after Melbourne Premier Daniel Andrews announced a range of restrictions were eased, many are still unhappy that the hospitality and retail industries have been left out.

The new easement of restrictions include:

  • Melbourne residents are able to travel 25 kilometres from home
  • No time limit on time spent outdoors
  • Outdoor gatherings increased from five to 10 people from two households
  • Skate parks, golf courses and tennis courts will reopen
  • Melbourne residents are able to get a haircut, see an allied health professional, renovate their home, wash their car and bid at auction

“I have announced today what is safe but will not undermine the sacrifice, the hard work, the pain, the amazing efforts that Victorians have put in,” Andrews told reporters on Sunday.

However, the hospitality, retail and beauty salon sector will remain closed for another two weeks until November 1. Business groups have since lashed out at Andrews' lockdown exit plan.

Council of Small Business ­Organisations Australia chief executive Peter Strong told the ABC that Mr Andrews “talks to Victorians like they’re a pack of idiots” and had harmed businesses unnecessarily.

“I think he’s never run a business. He thinks you turn the key and the shop opens again and everything happens,” he said.

It’s not like that. And the lack of respect for the business community is profound.”

Chapel Street Precinct general manager Chrissie Maus said it was an “unjust joke” to leave the sectors waiting until November 1. 

“There’s a cloud of anger from businesses…as this is no longer acceptable or sustainable for our businesses. I would have rather kept the 5km limit and the shops opened,” Ms Maus said.

“It seems the rest of the country is evolving in their policies but Dan continues on his draconian parade. We must learn to live with the virus and open our businesses up now.”

This article originally appeared on Over60.

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