Canberra's business lobby has warned against a premature easing of coronavirus restrictions, as it called on governments to provide more clarity on the path out of the pandemic.
Canberra Business Chamber chief executive Graham Catt said it would be "more detrimental" to businesses if restrictions were wound back, only for them to be reapplied after further outbreaks.
But Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the government would need to trial the winding back of certain measures, meaning they could be reintroduced if they didn't work.
As the daily number of new COVID-19 cases in Australia remains low, debate is ramping up as to how and when the physical restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the virus might be lifted.
No new cases were recorded in the ACT on Tuesday, meaning just one new case has been detected in the past four days.
While Prime Minister Scott Morrison has maintained that the process of easing restrictions remained "weeks away", his national cabinet will look at various options when it meets on Thursday.
Mr Catt said businesses which had been restricted significantly or forced to close entirely would like to be able to return to normal - but only if health authorities gave them the green light.
What was most important for businesses at this time, he said, was that they had a clear sense of what the "pathway" out the pandemic was.
He said businesses, many of whom are rapidly adjusting their operations amid the shutdown, could potentially be worse off if restrictions were loosened too early.
A number of countries which enjoyed early success in the fight against COVID-19 - including Singapore - have been forced to introduce restrictions after case numbers spiked.
"I think if we had a situation of relaxing [the restrictions] and then we find out in three weeks that we need to go back in lockdown, that would be more detrimental for many people," he said.
"It actually takes a lot of time for a business to reshape and regroup."
The hospitality industry has been among the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, with hotels and bars forced to shut their doors, and restaurants and cafes limited to serving takeaway.
Rather than focus on the prospect of reopening, Australian Hotel Association ACT branch general manager Anthony Brierley said its attention was on the working through the details of the federal government's JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme, which was designed to help businesses survive the shutdown.
Mr Brierley said reopening the hospitality sector "required more than just a date or a green-light from the ACT government".
"It requires a careful consideration of what "operational" looks like in a practical sense," he said.
"In the post COVID-19 world, we expect there will be a need for capacity and venue restrictions, as well as mandatory provision of industrial relations advice and industry development training."
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Barr warned of the risks of easing physical distancing measures, saying it would take just "one crowd, one infected person" to undo the work done in recent weeks to contain the virus' spread.
But he said the restrictions would have to be lifted at some point. That process would involve experimenting with the easing of certain measures, he said.
"We have to be prepared to go back into tougher restrictions if we did relax and then transmissions start again," he said.
"We've got to be honest with people that we don't necessarily know that every measure will work."
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