Shepparton News

Hospitalit­y concern at patron number limit

- By Georgia Rossiter

Several Shepparton hospitalit­y venue owners have raised concerns about the viability of opening with the flagged capacity restrictio­ns once the city is out of lockdown.

Stage 4 coronaviru­s restrictio­ns are on track to lift next week for Greater Shepparton and, if they do, hospitalit­y venues will be restricted to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors.

Shepparton’s Aussie Hotel owner Paul Tsorbaris said the limits would not be worth opening for.

‘‘I honestly think that even in the other regional areas, there’ll be a lot of hospitalit­y that won’t open,’’ he said.

‘‘It would cost more in power than to have 10 people inside.’’

Kialla’s The Woolshed owner Angela Mangiameli said her business would also not be able to open for that number of patrons and she could understand if small businesses could not open with the forthcomin­g restrictio­ns.

‘‘It’s an absolute waste of time with those numbers,’’ she said.

There is also uncertaint­y about when the strict capacity limits would ease further, which has left

I HONESTLY THINK THAT EVEN IN THE OTHER REGIONAL AREAS, THERE’ LLBEA LOT OF HOSPITALIT­Y THAT WON’T OPEN. IT WOULD COST MORE IN POWER THAN TO HAVE 10 PEOPLE INSIDE. — PAUL TSORBARIS

many hospitalit­y owners in limbo about when they might be able to open.

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra said business owners needed clarity about when they could expect to open their doors again.

‘‘Yesterday’s conservati­ve easing for regional Victoria

was a step in the right direction, but we need hope and certainty about what comes next,’’ he said.

The chamber’s own COVID-19 Recovery Roadmap details a threephase plan to open back up, proposing businesses in regional areas with no trace of COVID-19 for 14 days should be able to open with

25 per cent capacity and a maximum of 150 people.

Shepparton’s Sherbourne Terrace owner Nick Zurcas said he was confused as to why the government hadn’t stuck to the one-person-per-foursquare-metres rule.

‘‘I think the quarter capacity, the four-squaremetr­e rule seems to be from the past a viable alternativ­e,’’ he said.

‘‘Anything under that seems to be a bit scary.’’

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley told reporters at yesterday’s press conference that the strict restrictio­ns for hospitalit­y venues were necessary.

‘‘We understand the focus of this set of measures, as cautious as they are, is hopefully a first step,’’ he said.

‘‘As we move into the warmer weather, whether it’s in hospitalit­y or education, or frankly any walk of life, the more we can do outdoors, the more opportunit­ies there are for us to safely reopen.’’

 ?? Picture: Megan Fisher ?? Reduced capacity a worry: Aussie Hotel owner Paul Tsorbaris says under the eased restrictio­ns likely for Shepparton it won’t be worth opening.
Picture: Megan Fisher Reduced capacity a worry: Aussie Hotel owner Paul Tsorbaris says under the eased restrictio­ns likely for Shepparton it won’t be worth opening.
 ??  ?? Trading worries: The Woolshed owner Angela Mangiameli says: ‘‘It’s an absolute waste of time with those numbers (of patrons)’’.
Trading worries: The Woolshed owner Angela Mangiameli says: ‘‘It’s an absolute waste of time with those numbers (of patrons)’’.

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