Friday, April 19, 2024

ARA welcomes notion of lockdowns as ‘last resort’

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) welcomes the commitment of National Cabinet for lockdowns to be used as a ‘last resort’ going forth through Covid-19.

“Lockdowns are not long-term sustainable solutions for businesses when it comes to containing the virus,” says ARA CEO Paul Zahra.

“We have to learn to live with Covid and manage things in a responsible way that doesn’t decimate people’s businesses and livelihoods.

“Finally, we have a roadmap for how Australia is going to live with the virus as vaccination rates improve. This has certainly been a long time coming and is a welcome relief for businesses, who’ve been treated like an on/off light switch, whenever new Covid outbreaks occur.”

Mr Zahra says that the inconsistent approaches from states and territory governments has lost people’s confidence.

“Retailers have lost billions in retail trade through almost 50 days of state-imposed lockdowns this year – leaving many small businesses and working Australians exposed without a JobKeeper safety-net.

“Vaccinations are now our best weapon to fight the virus,” continues Mr Zahra.

“Only a small number of pharmacies have been given the green light to administer Covid vaccines, but there are thousands more that are suitable and are willing to assist. Chemists are proficient at delivering cold and flu shots and it makes sense that we mobilise these professionals to assist their communities.

“The ARA through its vast network of retail businesses, stands ready to support the vaccination effort in any way it can.”

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