BUSINESS owners are relieved the border between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will be removed early next month.
Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday confirmed there would be no travel restrictions around the state from 11.59pm on November 8.
Be.Bendigo chief executive Dennis Bice said the changes would allow "businesses to get on with business".
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"We're certainly pleased that we're seeing a relative easing of restrictions," Mr Bice said. "We encourage people to get out there and spend.
"We need that economy up and running, and to give businesses the chance to make up for lost ground."
Mr Bice said while the easing of restrictions in regional Victoria had allowed businesses to reopen, metropolitan travellers were vital to the local economy.
"We know we're fairly reliant on Melbourne people travelling to regional and rural Victoria, and having the ability to spend," he said.
"We've realised through the whole COVID-19 lockdown just how much we rely on those Melbourne customers."
Mr Bice said it was disappointing the easing of regional restrictions was staggered so slowly.
"We would have liked to have restrictions ease quicker than they have been," he said. "But we understand that from the regional point of view, we have been in a different space.
"It was always going to be a gradual move. The disappointing part was that regional and rural Victoria could have moved to the next level a lot quicker.
"But I understand the government wanted to align Melbourne and regional Victoria. We're really looking forward and are well prepared to get back and have the operation up and running."
Mr Bice said the reopening of interstate borders would also be welcome, even though the governments have not confirmed a date yet.
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"That will be critical for the next step for businesses to have some options about where they are spending," he said.
Mr Bice said businesses in the regions have been excellent at managing the new COVID-19 requirements.
He said the most important thing was that businesses could remain open for the long term.
"I think there is an air of relief in the fact we are reopening," Mr Bice said. "People are looking forward to getting back to some sort of normal.
"There is an element of nervousness that we could go back to lockdown. We have to get used to this new environment and what is happening.
"We can't keep locking down and opening up again. We're going to have to live with it."