Support announced for tourism operators affected by Melbourne lockdowns

Support announced for tourism operators affected by Melbourne lockdowns

Victorian regional accommodation operators affected by lockdowns in metropolitan Melbourne will be eligible for Government support if losses can be shown.

A $5 million fund has been made available to regional businesses including motels, caravan parks and short-term rentals like Airbnb properties that can demonstrate losses due to the new restrictions implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Melbourne.

Payments of up to $225 per cancelled booked night will be paid, on the condition that full refunds are provided to Melburnians stuck in lockdown and no cancellation fees are levied.

"We know that the last thing that regional accommodation houses and caravan parks needed was more obstacles after six months of struggle due to bushfires and coronavirus," says Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula.

"Lockdowns bring no joy to anyone, but we're standing with businesses in the regions and the suburbs as we navigate a path to the other side of this crisis."

More than 300,000 Melburnians living in 10 postcodes are subject to strict stay at home orders until 11.59pm on 29 July, meaning many will be forced to cancel holidays they had previously booked at locations across the state.

Accommodation businesses in 48 regional local government areas as well as the Yarra Ranges and the Mornington Peninsula shires will be covered for eligible bookings that were received from "hot zone" postcodes 3038, 3064, 3047, 3060, 3012, 3032, 3055, 3042, 3021, 3046 by 3pm on 30 June for the period 1 July to 29 July.

The $5 million support package for regional accommodation businesses follows confirmation of one-off $5,000 payments that will be made available for eligible businesses in the 10 postcode areas subject to the return of Stage 3 restrictions.

"These payments will help these important employers, and it means that there's no reason that refunds should not be paid to families who will now have to stay at home over the holidays," says Victorian Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes.

Updated at 9:24am AEST on 2 July 2020.

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