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Regional restrictions cruel hospitality businesses

Thousands of regional hospitality businesses will remain shut and their staff out of work as a result of the unworkable rules imposed by Daniel Andrews.

The Andrews Labor Government cruelly offered a small hope for country businesses with the announcement it will ‘ease’ regional restrictions, only to slap them with capacity limits so low that it’s not viable to reopen.

State Liberal Member for Eildon, Cindy McLeish knows many hospitality businesses throughout regional Victoria have no choice but to stay closed as they can only open with 10 patrons inside and 20 seated outside – a fraction of the capacity of many venues. Businesses are calling it, Lockdown by Proxy.

Ms McLeish said, “This is not a plan to reopen. It’s a cruel blow to regional hospitality businesses who hoped they would be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. Owners have already cut back on business opening hours and staff numbers, what else will they have to sacrifice?”

“Allowing a maximum of up to 30 patrons is a fraction of the capacity of many venues that would normally seat hundreds of diners at any given time. It has affected restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars of all sizes.”

“All hospitality businesses have detailed COVID Safe plans and practices in place to keep patrons and staff safe. It’s time we utilise them.”

This week’s restriction changes have been described as “mind-boggling” and “meaningless” by some venue operators.

Ms McLeish continues, “The Andrews Labor Government’s unworkable rules have delivered no hope and no plan for regional hospitality.

“This is just another cruel blow by a city centric Premier who doesn’t care about the damage being inflicted on regional Victoria,” Ms McLeish concludes.


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