"Ai Group welcomes the easing of restrictions to allow retailers, restaurants, cafes, manufacturers, the construction industry and others to open up to a COVID-normal condition including allowing a dark opening period.
"Businesses will be celebrating being in a position to serve the public, manufacture the product and re-energise the economy.
"Making the state one again from November 9 is an important psychological step, as is allowing people to come together for a range of different gatherings.
"It's a vital day for Metropolitan Melbourne, the state and even the rest of the nation as Melbourne returns to a semblance of normality.
"We encourage businesses and the community to recognise that the COVID virus is still with us and vigilance must be maintained to prevent its spread once again. We also urge the Government to maintain public confidence in its testing and tracing regimes. With the tracking and tracing up to the task localised responses should be the norm in the future rather than widespread lockdowns.
"Ai Group acknowledges the resilience of Victorian employers who have borne up so well during the shutdown but the road to recovery will be a very long one," Mr Piper said.
Further comment: Tim Piper – 0411 430 301