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Thousands of Victorians claim $300 hardship payments as further help flagged

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 31/07/2020 Lara Pearce

More than 5,200 Victorians have already applied for the Victorian government's coronavirus hardship payments, as Premier Daniel Andrews flagged further possible assistance in the days to come.

The $300 payments are for those who are in employment but don't have access to sick leave.

The premier has touted the payments are a key measure to stop people attending work while potentially infectious with coronavirus, after it was revealed last week that nine out of 10 Victorians were not isolating as soon as they became symptomatic.

a man riding a skateboard on a city street: A man wearing a face mask walks through the CBD in Melbourne. Victorian workers who don't have access to sick leave are being provided with $300 payments to enable them to stay at home while awaiting test results. © Photograph by Chris Hopkins A man wearing a face mask walks through the CBD in Melbourne. Victorian workers who don't have access to sick leave are being provided with $300 payments to enable them to stay at home while awaiting test results.

More than half (53 per cent) were still failing to isolate even after getting tested for COVID-19 whilst awaiting the results.

Of the 5200 claims, 4200 have already been paid the lump sum of $300, with a total cost to the Victorian government of $1.26 million.

A "small number" had been rejected because they already had sick leave or were on JobKeeper, Mr Andrews said, whilst the remainder were still being processed.

A total of 12,600 Victorian businesses have now received the state government's $5000 assistance grants, totalling $63 million in funds.

a man wearing glasses: Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed another 627 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours after a record-breaking 723 new infections yesterday. © Getty Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed another 627 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours after a record-breaking 723 new infections yesterday.

In addition, 77,600 businesses have been paid the $10,000 grant originally offered to provide support during the first lockdown.

The premier announced the new figures at this morning's press conference, where it was also revealed that further lockdown measures were being discussed amid stubbornly high COVID-19 numbers.

It is becoming increasingly unlikely that Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire will be able to come out of stage three stay-at-home orders in three weeks' time, as initially scheduled.

"It may be that there is further support that is needed for businesses, for workers," the premier said.

"Part of my discussions and dialogue with the prime minister will focus on those issues as well.

"That is why I'm grateful for such a positive partnership, one that is all about dealing with the challenge."

Mr Andrews said the state would be unable to look to its economic recovery while coronavirus numbers remained high.

"We will not be able to open up, and find a COVID normal – we will still be in this limbo where we have stabilised, we have avoided our hospital system being completely overrun, but we're not seeing those numbers fall sufficiently to be able to bring an end to the restrictions and move into a much more open economy and a much more open Victorian community," he said.


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