DOM GETS JOBS FLOWING
Nifty 50-punter rule to inject beer, cheer & cash into NSW
SYDNEYSIDERS will raise their glasses from June 1 to a 50-punter limit on pubs, clubs and eateries which had Treasurer Dom Perrottet toasting its economic benefits. Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s restriction ease was announced as it was also revealed barriers would be lifted for gyms, yoga studios and beauty salons next month.
NEW life begins at 50 for comatose pubs and clubs under the latest step towards a return to normality in New South Wales.
In just over a month, hospitality businesses that have been on life-support for months will be able to serve 50 customers at a time. And gyms could be next in line for good news.
The announcement takes effect from June 1 and has brought cheers to the hotel industry, which has been losing an average of $35,000 per pub per week since the coronavirus lockdown and for whom the 10 patron rule announced last week was of limited benefit.
Bar tsar Justin Hemmes, owner of the Merivale empire, said the announcement was the best news he has had in months.
“I would like to commend the government who not only acted swiftly to protect our country, but are now doing everything they can to help us safely reopen doors and rebuild the industry,” Mr Hemmes said.
“While we are still a while away from operating all our venues at full capacity, the increase to 50 customers is a huge leap forward and one that will result in an exponential increase in employment.”
Australian Hotels Association NSW chief executive John Whelan said the lift was “a significant step” in allowing businesses to reopen.
“The entire hospitality sector has been hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis with hotels shut down across NSW and 94 per cent of our workforce of 75,000 stood down or terminated,” Mr Whelan said. “It is a common sense move — it will be particularly welcomed by our NSW country hoteliers as regional NSW opens again for travellers,” he said.
The change is set to revive the decimated dining scene for clubs, pubs, restaurants and cafes, as well as injecting life back into the broader state economy.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro went a step further yesterday and said he expected more restrictions to be scrapped within the next month.
Gyms, yoga studios and beauty salons are next on the list of businesses to be allowed to return to normality as COVID-19 cases remain low across the state.
“We’re working on that plan (to open gyms) as we speak now, no different to yoga studios, beauticians, you name it. We’re still working on all of those but we’re not talking September, no way in the world,” he told 2GB.
“I’m confident if the industry plan is right, we’ll be able to make an announcement around that (gyms) soon. One of the areas we’re concerned about with gyms for instance is surfaces are a problem.”
“We’re looking at all these restrictions coming off in the next month or so,” he said.
The 50-person limit is still subject to the one person per four square metres rule and existing restrictions on weddings and funerals still apply.
No bookings of more than 10 will be allowed and every patron will have to be seated.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the phased return to business will help to reignite the economy and tackle unemployment.
“The decision has been made with expert health advice and both businesses and patrons will be subject to strict rules and guidelines,” she said.
Mr Barilaro said the changes would
deliver thousands of jobs. “I honestly believe this is worth 50,000 jobs … this is hundreds of millions of dollars to the economy.”
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the new 50-patron rule will allow most restaurants and bars to reopen rather than a staggered approach of increasing the restrictions to 20 people.
“In discussions with industry … it was very clear that rather than going to 20, but 50, there would be thousands more people in work … (it will) put a lot people back into work,” he said.
Sydney Business Chamber chief executive Katherine O’Regan welcomed the lift in restrictions but warned some venues may still wait to open with the 4m rule still posing a
“challenge”. “There are clearly some safety guidelines still in place but it enables businesses to really start to come back to life.”
Coogee Pavilion bartender Ben Wainwright said he was looking forward to bringing more of his co-workers back doing what they love.
Hannah Smith said she was keen to get back to catching up with her mates over a few beers. “I’m excited to see my friends and come down here for a drink and feel like the world is slightly more normal,” she said.
Fairfield’s Bondeno Cafe manager Almir Dizdaric said: “Having a limit of 10 customers hasn’t picked up business the greatest amount, but hopefully with 50 it’ll be better.”
Treasurer Dom Perrottet gets on the taps at The Squire’s Landing in The Rocks.
Piotr Szewczuk, Hannah Smith and Rachel Nuvolari Moschini with bartender Ben Wainwright at the Coogee Pavilion.
Almir Dizdaric, of Bondeno Cafe in Fairfield.