Business groups have attacked the Victorian government's roadmap out of the state's coronavirus crisis, saying the lengthy plan will cause countless companies to go broke.
Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday announced Melbourne's stage four lockdown will be extended to September 28, while the retail and hospitality sectors will largely remain restricted for another seven weeks.
Mr Andrews said the latest modelling proved the need for a slow, steady approach to reopening.
"We will get these businesses open as soon as we can," the premier told reporters.
"I'm disappointed too that I cannot have better news for people today but false hope is no hope.
"The notion of saying to people 'no worries, open up next week', when you know, because the science tells you, they will be open for weeks and then they will be closed again - it is not an answer.
"The key point here is to open and stay open."
The modelling, conducted by the University of Melbourne, warned that on current levels of social distancing, the state's 14-day average case number was likely to be around 63 cases by September 17.
"With so many cases in the community, re-opening at this point will risk a resurgence, undoing all of the gains achieved from lockdown," it said.
Under the government's plan, retailers and hairdressers can reopen from October 26.
Restaurants, bars and cafes will partially reopen with group limits of 10, mostly for outdoor seating, while practising density limits.
Restrictions will be eased further from November 23, when beauticians, gyms and real estate businesses can open with appropriated safety measures.
Restaurants, bars and cafes will then be able to host indoor groups of up to 20 people for seated service, with a cap of 50 patrons in total.
Even so, any easings depending on the state meeting staged "trigger points" for daily case numbers.
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria slammed the government's plan, claiming it had not "genuinely" consulted with business groups.
"The initial 'consultation' we were invited to amounted to a roundtable with over 35 industries all at one time, meaning only a handful had an opportunity to put their case forward," it said.
It wants the government to ease the ban on property inspections for people who "who desperately need to buy or lease a property".
Peak national employer body, Australian Industry Group, also accused the government of a lack of consultation and branded the roadmap "a document of despair for industry and their employees".
"We participated in consultations on the plan in good faith but it is clear the Victorian government has chosen to ignore practical advice about how to now safely reopen workplaces and get the economy moving," CEO Innes Willox said.
Paul Guerra from the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry described the plans as a "roadmap to nowhere", warning "business will go broke".
Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra shared the sentiment, saying the delay to retail reopening will be the "death sentence" for many retailers.
"Melbourne retailers will have been subject to lockdown for 13 weeks at that point - and some hair and beauty salons have been closed for 5 months, which is unprecedented," he said.
"Without further financial support, this will certainly permanently wipe out a large number of small businesses and see the closure of many Victorian stores by national retailers."
The Australian Hotels Association president David Canny said the state's pubs and hotels will "bleed further with debt and face going over the cliff".
"These decisions are going to change the whole hospitality landscape from which it may never recover," he said.
A phased return to onsite work for those who have been working from home won't happen until Victoria reaches "COVID normal", when no new cases are recorded for 28 days and there are no active cases.