Re­turn­ing to pubs a big morale boost

The Advertiser - - LETTERS -

LIT­TLE more than a day ago, hote­liers were plead­ing to be al­lowed to re­open be­fore the June long week­end for at least 50 pa­trons.

The Aus­tralian Ho­tels As­so­ci­a­tion warned the sec­tor had al­ready been hit hard with job and fi­nan­cial losses trig­gered by the coronaviru­s pan­demic shut­down, say­ing more was to come without de­ci­sive ac­tion.

Just hours after The Ad­ver­tiser’s front-page report of their de­mands hit the streets, Premier Steven Mar­shall an­nounced pubs would be able to re­open from June 5, ahead of the long week­end, rather than June 8.

This eas­ing of re­stric­tions matched some of the hote­liers’ de­mands, but they are rightly ques­tion­ing why cafes and restaurant­s can serve al­co­hol to up to 20 din­ers from to­mor­row – but they have to wait.

Hote­liers also will have to wait for de­tails of how many pa­trons they will be able to host. This might well be up to 50 but hote­liers want clar­ity on whether this limit ap­plies to the en­tire pub or seg­ments, such as func­tion rooms, bistros and bars, which also seems fair enough. Even so, shift­ing for­ward the eas­ing of pub re­stric­tions by a few days was sen­si­ble and prag­matic.

The ben­e­fits for re­gions will go be­yond putting some much-needed dol­lars into pubs. Din­ing op­tions will be ex­panded, greatly adding to the ap­peal for hol­i­day-mak­ers.

There is some­thing quite en­tic­ing about pop­ping into a coun­try pub for a meal and drink.

As prominent pub­li­can Mark Ric­ci­uto ar­gues, it will be a long time be­fore some pubs start turn­ing a profit. This mea­sure is more about the first step on the path­way back to nor­mal life.

Jobs can re­turn, along with the so­cial in­ter­ac­tion of go­ing to the pub.

Like the rest of so­ci­ety, hote­liers are wary of a se­cond wave of coronaviru­s. No­body wants to see an­other shut­down, which cre­ates a pow­er­ful im­pe­tus for ad­her­ing to nec­es­sary so­cial dis­tanc­ing and hy­giene mea­sures. Fi­nally, a re­spon­si­ble re­turn to pubs is in sight – a ma­jor step in job and busi­ness re­cov­ery.

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