small business | October 12, 2021

A sensible plan for hospitality to reopen, rebuild and recover

Pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants in Lowan would be able to get back to serving more customers and supporting local jobs under an alternative plan to the current COVID roadmap. 

The Liberal Nationals’ Reopen, Recover, Rebuild Plan would see all hospitality venues operate with density limits of one person per four square metres inside, and one person per two square metres outside when the 70-per-cent vaccination target is reached.

Patron caps would also be lifted, enabling venues of all sizes to operate at viable levels.

Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said the measures provided a pathway forward for the COVID-safe reopening of small businesses.

“Our local hospitality businesses have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, with the Andrews Labor Government imposing incredibly strict patron caps that have made opening unviable for so many businesses,” she said.

“We know the density limits have been in place as we have come out of previous lockdowns and they are safe and sensible. We also know that local businesses and their employees have suffered significantly and need hope for the future.

“Our community has supported local businesses when they have the opportunity, and under this plan they will be able to do so faster than under the Labor Government’s roadmap.”

Under the Andrews Labor Government’s roadmap, hospitality and retail business are banned from having indoor patrons until early November at the earliest.

Ms Kealy said that instead of suffocating small business with endless restrictions, the government needed to back patrons and operators to do the right thing and reopen in a sensible, safe manner.

“After six devastating lockdowns, Victorian small businesses, the families they support and jobs they provide have been shattered,” she said.

“For the past few weeks, Labor’s catastrophically low patron caps have squeezed the life from many regional hospitality venues that were already on their knees.

“Locking up small business for another month is not the way forward. We have a positive plan to reopen, recover and rebuild so we can get our businesses back sooner.”

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