The further easing of COVID-19 restrictions across Victoria has been welcomed by regional businesses who have faced months of challenges and uncertainty as a result of the pandemic.
Guyetts Funerals in Warrnambool owner Alice Guyett-Wood said the news funerals, both indoors and outdoors, can have 150 people with density requirements was "fantastic for families".
"It's absolutely a relief, it will be so much easier for families who before now have had to tell people they can't attend," she said.
"We will still have to have private funerals where people are invited, we won't be able to advertise a service then have more than 150 people attend and have to turn people away. We will still require a guest list of who is attending and contact details for COVID tracing but at least for families being able to have 150 people will take so much pressure off them."
With funeral numbers heavily reduced throughout the pandemic, many families have opted to live-stream or video record services for those unable to attend.
Ms Guyett said this might change the way funerals are delivered forever.
"I think people have evolved to provide services in different ways and will continue into the future," she said.
"It's been a huge thing for people interstate and overseas to be able to watch a service and have an input in the service through technology.
"I do see it as the way of the future. People who couldn't get the time off work to attend a service could go home and watch the service at a time that's suitable to them for example."
South West TAFE chief executive Mark Fidge is looking forward to welcoming the return of students onsite for studies.
"Over the last month or two we've been able to bring back premises trainees and VCAL students where we can to complete the practical component of their studies," he said.
"Now we hope to bring back the remaining students from courses outside apprenticeships.
"It's great news, I have to say I did walk down the main corridors of the TAFE this week and it was so fantastic to see students back on campus.
"Our students have enjoyed the remote and flexible delivery but have really missed the face-to-face support. We hope to continue a combination of the two going forward."
Practical work placements have also opened up for students.
"One of the big things for us has been for students to get through this year because if the students are pushed into next year it could hold up future intake," Mr Fidge said.
"A lot will complete their program or course this year which is really important for students and employers in the region to get qualified students at the end of this year as opposed to waiting."
Embattled gym owners have breathed a sigh of relief as gyms have opened up to a maximum of 150 people in groups of 20.
Body Blitzer Warrnambool owner Frank McKenzie said it would benefit his business and clients.
"It's excellent, we are now allowed to do contact karate classes for juniors and seniors indoors," he said.
"We've also brought our bootcamps back indoors because we have the space and want to maximise the use of our facility.
"It's all been anybody's guess which has been difficult, especially to plan out further afield and at the start of the year with regards to numbers and range of programs.
"A lot of clients pay upfront for four, six or 10 week programs so when halfway through there was lockdown it wasn't very good for business.
"When it came to cashflow a lot of people asked for a refund and those are the sort of dilemmas we have been facing. You want to try not to end up burning your fingers by not taking too much upfront."
The changes come into effect at 11:59pm on November 22 and mark the 'last step' of the Victorian government's roadmap to COVID normal.
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