I’m here with the COVID-19 continuity update for Australian businesses on Wednesday, 17th June.
In today’s briefing: New Zealand have lifted restrictions: what are the implications for Victoria?
On 8th June 2020 the New Zealand government declared themselves free of Covid-19 and moved to Covid-19 Alert Level 1.
Alert Level 1 means that all coronavirus measures have been lifted except border closure restrictions.
All schools and workplaces are open. Public transport and public gatherings have resumed without any restrictions. Social distancing is no longer required.
The only restriction that exists is that the country’s borders remain closed to foreign travellers, and rules remain in place requiring returning New Zealanders to go through a 14-day period of isolation or quarantine.
The plan to lift restrictions was initially intended for 22 June, but it was brought forward to 9th June because:
• There were 0 active cases;
• No new cases had been reported for 17 days;
• No one had been in hospital with Covid-19 for 12 days;
• In the previous 2 weeks 40,000 people were tested for Covid-19 and none were positive.
If we’re thinking about when Victoria may be in a position to follow New Zealand’s lead, let’s look at the data:
The report today (17th June) for cases in Victoria are:
• Number of active cases: 58
• Current cases admitted to hospital: 6
• Current cases in ICU: 2
Australia and Victoria are likely to retain social distancing requirements until the virus is eliminated.
The implications of this for Victorian businesses are:
• The Victorian government will continue to advise people to work from home. Their biggest concern is the risk of transmission on public transport;
• Large indoor gatherings – such as conferences, trade shows, sports and entertainment events – are not permitted.
To see a removal of restrictions and therefore an opening of the economy, we’ll need to see either a vaccine or elimination of locally acquired cases. We should expect that there will remain a drag on the economy, and consumer and business confidence until these things are sorted out.
To understand the impact of the restrictions upon general economic performance, New Zealand’s Reserve Bank is predicting that the New Zealand economy under Level 1 is likely to operate just 3.8% below normal levels. See this graph below:
My key message today is that as long as restrictions remain (even overseas travel restrictions), we’ll see a drag on the economy. As small businesses we need to remain nimble and agile to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Don’t be complacent, keep working with your business coach to identify and exploit the opportunities.
Ashley Thomson B.Eng(Hons), Grad. Dip. Mgmt, MEI
Tenfold Business Coaching