What relaxed COVID-19 measures mean for North Qld venues
IF YOU thought of ducking into the local over the long weekend then think again- pubs and clubs will remain bound by strict trading conditions.
Commissioner of Liquor, Gaming and Fair Trading Victoria Thomson yesterday torpedoed any hopes that pubs and clubs would be resuming operations as normal in time for the long weekend.
Ms Thomson wrote to the Queensland Hotel Association after the State Government announced the easing of restrictions.
Unfortunately for the Cairns hospitality industry, the approved activities such as shopping for non-essential items and driving for pleasure did not extend to going out for a pint.
"The Chief Health Officer's direction for non-essential business, activity and undertaking closures has not changed as a result of these relaxations," Ms Thomson announced though the Queensland Hotel Association.
"This means how you can currently trade has not changed.
"If you're currently permitted to sell takeaway food and alcohol, it still can't be consumed inside or adjacent to the venue, regardless of the size of your outdoor area.
"The limited easing of some home confinement and movement restrictions for public areas, such as parks, do not extend to licensed premises and adjacent areas."
Woolshed owner Dominic Davies said challenges still lay ahead if and when venues would reopen under social distancing.
"It is hard to make money under social distancing - it is really hard when you do it properly," Mr Davies said.
He said long put off projects had been tackled during the shutdown to take advantage of the empty nightclub.
"We have been polishing floors, re grouting, labour intensive work that is hard to do when you are open seven days a week," Mr Davies said.
The Jobkeeper payment has been a lifeline for his staff who faced a stomach churning and uncertain future during the pandemic.
"It has increased the likelihood of us opening when they do think that Queenslanders and operators will behave reasonably," he said.
"People are already to get out and hospitality workers are keen to get out and do what they do best."
Originally published as What relaxed COVID-19 measures mean for Far Northern venues