Kyabram Free Press

Ky lights up after lockdown

- By Myles Peterson

The sun broke through the clouds last Wednesday morning as Victoria's latest lockdown lifted and Kyabram’s Allan St returned to a semblance of its former self.

Traffic was noticeably heavier, uniformed children wandered to school and the local cafe´ s and newsagent were doing a better trade than the grey previous two weeks.

The phone was ringing off the hook at one local hairdresse­r who apologised, saying she was too busy to speak to the Free Press.

Local cafe´ owner Rocco Papalia of Marocco Cafe said the latest stay-at-home orders had been among the toughest periods for his business.

But with restrictio­ns eased, the food was being prepared, the coffees were rolling out, the customers were rolling in and Mr Papalia and his three staff, including son ‘Little’ Rocco Papalia, were hard at work.

“This lockdown was probably the hardest really,” he said, citing less financial assistance, such as 2020’s Jobkeeper payments.

“Many people are now unsure about working and where they're going to get the next pay cheque. I think that it was way better before with Jobkeeper and all that,” he said.

The miserable weather had also been a factor in dampening trade during the previous fortnight, according to Mr Papalia, who thanked all the customers that had stuck with his business through the tough time.

“They’re the ones that really kept us going and it’s one thing I really appreciate,” he said.

Eased restrictio­ns continue until next week in Victoria, with stay-at-home orders lifted and the 5km limit on travel scrapped.

Schools have returned face-to-face learning.

Hospitalit­y venues have reopened for seated service to with a limit of 100 people indoors, 300 outdoors and a one-person-per-four-squaremetr­e density limit.

Retail, beauty, gyms, entertainm­ent centres, community venues and places of worship have also reopened with the same restrictio­ns.

Funerals and weddings are limited to 50 guests and public gatherings to 10 people.

Offices can reopen at 25 per cent capacity with a maximum cap of 10 if the workforce is less than 40 people.

Barring any further outbreaks, the new limits will be in place until August 11.

Fears of continuing outbreaks in NSW of the highly transmissi­ble Delta strain of COVID-19 have seen the Victorian Government exclude the local government areas of Hay, Lockhart, Murrumbidg­ee and Wagga Wagga from Victoria’s ‘border bubble'.

Victoria recorded four new cases during the 24 hours to midnight Monday, all reportedly in quarantine throughout their infectious period, according to the Department of Health.

 ??  ?? 'Little' Rocco Papalia was hard at work making coffees at Marocco Cafe´ with the increase in trade.
'Little' Rocco Papalia was hard at work making coffees at Marocco Cafe´ with the increase in trade.

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