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Karl Stefanovic speaks on struggling hospitality workers with green health juice Australia Covid

Eagle-eyed viewers spotted Karl Stefanovic sipping a green health drink while interviewing hospitality workers about ‘doing it tough’ during the latest coronavirus outbreak.

The Today host was speaking to the owner of the popular Chin Chin restaurant from Melbourne with viewers noticing Karl was conducting the interview with a green smoothie as well as a coffee.

The south-east Asian fusion restaurant are offering 500 meals to hospitality workers as the Greater Sydney area looks set to be locked down for the foreseeable future.

‘We’re trying to come together as Australians and it’s up to us in business to put our arms around our fellow Aussies in Sydney. We’ve gone through these terrible lockdowns in Melbourne,’ owner Chris Lucas said.

‘It’s such a terrible time for [hospitality workers], they’re already doing it tough, they already don’t receive much money they’re just trying to make ends meet,’ Karl replied with his health juice nearby. 

NSW recorded 89 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the latest outbreak of the highly infectious Indian Delta strain to 767 cases - leaving Sydney's lockdown likely to be extended (pictured, a near empty George Street in the city's CBD on Tuesday)

NSW recorded 89 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the latest outbreak of the highly infectious Indian Delta strain to 767 cases – leaving Sydney’s lockdown likely to be extended (pictured, a near empty George Street in the city’s CBD on Tuesday)

The Chin Chin owner, who is dedicating the meals to hospitality workers across the Greater Sydney region, said the politicising of the pandemic from state premiers is a ‘disgrace’. 

‘I’m very disappointed with the commentary from the last 24 hours, I think that’s at the fundamental core of why we’re in this poisiton at the moment,’ he told Today.

‘The politicisation and constant bickering by the state premiers and failing to act in the national good, it’s a disgrace.’

With a community transfer breaking Melbourne’s near two-week run without a public case and Greater Sydney set to find out how long its lockdown will be extended, Mr Lucas lamented the economic strain the restrictions are having. 

‘We’re all over it, we know whey they’re happening, we know why we need them, but we’ve got to stop this rubbish,’ he said.

‘People are breaking down, businesses are going broke, people are losing their livelihoods. Some states are locking down over a couple of cases. 

All state premiers can do is bicker and undermine the national good and the prime minister. I think it’s a disgrace, they should be reaching out and coming together to ask how can we come together as a nation, how can we get the country vaccinated.’

Karl Stefanovic speaks on struggling hospitality workers with green health juice Australia Covid

Sydney businesses (pictured in lockdown on Tuesday) are doing it tough with locals unable to venture out of their homes for anything but essential reasons

Sydney businesses (pictured in lockdown on Tuesday) are doing it tough with locals unable to venture out of their homes for anything but essential reasons

Earlier, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews accused the federal government of ‘double standards’ after a $1.5billion-a fortnight relief package for New South Wales businesses struggling in lockdown was announced.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the taxpayer funded package on Tuesday as Sydneysiders endure their third week of a harsh lockdown, with no end in sight and an extension likely to be brought in before Friday.

The announcement prompted a scathing reply from Dan Andrews who claimed Victorians were ‘sick and tired’ of having to beg the federal government for support.

But the government hit back saying Victoria received the same support for its most recent two week lockdown as NSW has had for the last fortnight, with the new policy also available to any state who experiences restrictions from now on.

‘Everyone in Australia believes that people in Sydney and NSW deserve every possible support as they battle a second wave and a long lockdown,’ Mr Andrews said in a statement.

‘But Victorians are rightly sick and tired of having to beg for every scrap of support from the federal government.’

‘It shouldn’t take a crisis in Sydney for the Prime Minister to take action but we are seeing the same double standard, time and time again.’

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews (pictured) said a new funding package for NSW residents under lockdown was the federal government playing favourites

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews (pictured) said a new funding package for NSW residents under lockdown was the federal government playing favourites 

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Victorian government was being ‘childish and petulant’ and Scott Morrison also dissmissed any suggestions of unfairness.

‘The Victorian government has been strongly supported by the Commonwealth, particularly last year during those terrible lockdowns, and I have no doubt that people in Melbourne and across Victoria just want to ensure that Sydney can get through this,’ he told Today.

‘We were putting three-quarters of a billion dollars every single week into Victoria while they went through that lockdown.’

A government spokesman said Mr Andrews should spend more time trying to find solutions rather than ‘politicising’ the issue.

‘The NSW government has worked constructively with the Commonwealth to support their households and businesses,’ a government spokesman said.

‘While the Victorian government’s politicised approach has unfortunately been to issue decrees by media instead of picking up the phone to find solutions as a partnership.’

What are the main financial supports available in lockdown? 

Workers 

* Any states or territories in an extended lockdown will benefit from a new support package, with NSW being the first state entitled to it.

* From week four of a lockdown because of a Commonwealth government declared hotspot, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment will increase to $600 if a person has lost 20 or more hours of work a week or $375 if a person has lost between eight and less than 20 hours of work a week.

* The Commonwealth and NSW have also agreed that from July 18 the disaster payment will be available to those outside Commonwealth declared hotspots in NSW that meet the criteria for the payment.

* The NSW government will fund any payments outside a Commonwealth declared hotspot, with the Commonwealth continuing to fund payments to recipients in a Commonwealth declared hotspot.

Business 

* A new business support payment will also be available to entities with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million who can demonstrate a 30 per cent decline in turnover.

* To receive the payment, eligible entities will be required to maintain their full time, part time and long term casual staffing level as of July 13.

* Eligible entities, which includes not-for-profits, will receive payments of between $1500 and $10,000 per week based on the level of their payroll.

* For non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, the payment will be set at $1,000 per week. 

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