Last week, the Australian government introduced a three-step framework to continue the country’s COVID-19 restrictions – as part of that, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that pubs and clubs in the state will reopen from this Friday, the 15th of May – but don’t get too excited.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet confirmed that pubs and clubs – as well as cafes and restaurants – will be able to open, however they must adhere to strict social distancing rules with a limit of 10 customers at any given time. Hear all the details below:
“We appreciate that many large venues won’t be viable and won’t choose to open but it’s only up to 10 people per venue,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters. “Even if there [are] multiple rooms or multiple facilities in a venue, it’s only up to 10 people in one venue.”
Unfortunately, that means you’ll have to put your epic post-COVID pub crawl on hold for the time being.
Bars and gaming facilities will also remain closed, however table service of booze – ordered with a meal – will be allowed.
The question is: is opening for only 10 customers a viable business option for NSW pubs and clubs?
“Some venues will have to make a fairly serious business consideration in regard to whether they do open,” John Green, the Director of Liquor and Policing for the Australian Hotels Association told TODAY. “There are a lot of people out of work, there are expenses. For an average pub in NSW, it’s costing them $30-35,000 to stay closed.”
“Ten patrons isn’t many but it’s the first step in a long process getting trading back up and running,” he said.
As well as the easing of restrictions, grassroots campaign Local Rain Check is helping small businesses survive the pandemic downturn. The website allows customers to purchase a ‘rain check’ for their favourite pub, restaurant or cafe – the money goes straight to the business owner, and in return, you get a gift voucher you can redeem after the restrictions are lifted.
The pandemic has had a devastating impact on Australia’s hospitality industry, but these initiatives and our hard work to get those restrictions lifted is a step in the right direction.
As of the 13th of May, there are 6,975 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia but only 13 new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours. Together, we can continue flattening that curve, and staying healthy and safe to ensure Australia returns to normality as soon as possible.
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