Excitement is brewing in Cobar after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced last week that pubs and clubs will be able to open to more patrons.
Beauty services will also be able to resume trading as of Monday.
The Premier’s announcement last Friday of a relaxation of restrictions on the hospitality industry will mean that it will be more viable for local venues to re-open from Monday.
Beauty services that were shut down at the end of March are now also free to re-open, but both industries have been issued with new health restriction guidelines.
In his discussions with the Premier’s Office, State Member for Barwon, Roy Butler pointed out that arbitrary numbers of 10 and 20 for restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs were a bad fit for many regional clubs and pubs.
“Huge venues like clubs would not bother opening,” Mr Butler said.
He said their closure had denied much needed trade, employment and amenity for regional communities.
“It could be done safely, venues were happy to make sure it was.
“My request to Government was to use a four square metre rule so that social distancing could be maintained, and larger venues could trade,” which he said was adopted for up to 50 patrons per kitchen.
Mr Butler had also lobbied the Premier on behalf of the beauty industry.
“Salons do so much more than just beauty work,” Mr Butler said.
“People with skin issues, and people needing other services that support medical treatments also access these businesses.
“This allows them to get back to work, they will be limited to one person per four square metres, and will need a documented Covid Safe plan, including an increased cleaning regime.
“It can be done safely, and this industry employs plenty of people,” he said.
Chair of the Cobar Liquor Accord and secretary/manager of the Cobar Services Club, Linda Carter, said Cobar’s clubs and pubs have welcomed the news and were gearing up to re-open next week.
“We’re all pretty much ready to go, we’re just waiting on stock from the breweries,” she said.
Mr Butler and Mrs Carter said it was a great outcome for hospitality venues, but both warned that patrons need to be sensible and adhere to the restrictions.
Pubs and clubs will also be able to welcome travellers and tourists with the Premier lifting holiday travel restrictions as of Monday also.
Locals and vistitors however won’t be able to use gyms (which were forced to close at the end of March along with pubs, clubs and beauty salons) as they have not yet been given the green light to re-open.
The Premier has said that gyms will stay shut for the foreseeable future.