Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has rushed to amend an embarrassing error that wrongly stated the state’s entertainment venues could reopen once Victoria reached 70 per cent vaccinations.
Alongside pubs and clubs, the road map, posted on Sunday, stated that entertainment venues could also reopen at 70 per cent double dose, with 20 fully vaccinated people indoors and 50 outdoors.
Authorities quickly amended the mistake that day, but the post still remained on the Premier’s official Twitter account on Tuesday morning.
The error caused significant confusion among the entertainment industry, which called the mistake a devastating blow for an already struggling industry.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mr Andrews said it had been a “typo” despite public documents usually being subject to a tough, multi-level approvals process before being released to the public.
“That was corrected and, again, I apologise if there’s any sense that a sector has been included that shouldn’t have been – but it does not include entertainment venues,” Mr Andrews said.
“Entertainment venues will be covered by 80 per cent, and again I‘ll just stress that is not this Thursday, not the Sunday straight thereafter, but the Sunday after that, probably.”
Camera IconDaniel Andrews apologised over the mistake. NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw Credit: News Corp Australia
But what is a slight error for the Victorian government is costing venue operators thousands of dollars, with some having to cancel shows after opening them up after seeing the announcement.
Melbourne Comedy Republic owner Kyran Wheatley on Tuesday told the ABC he sold out eight shows for this weekend but ultimately had to cancel them.
“It was just a small crack in the door, 20 people just enough to put your fingers in, and it feels like they’ve slammed that door shut on our fingers,” he said.
“To give freedom and then take it away … is the perfect way to kick the arts when they’re down.”
The sector will again be able to open with limitations once the state reaches the 80 per cent target, which is set to happen before the end of October.
Mr Andrews said it currently wasn’t safe for all industries to be open and operating.
“I know that it’s frustrating, everyone would like to be open at the one time, but we’re not talking about a three-month gap between one milestone and the next – it is literally eight or nine days and then we can have everything open,” he said.
“We’re going to reach that second deadline, the 80 per cent deadline, much quicker than we thought – that was going to be the middle of November at one point.”Internet Explorer Channel Network