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Regional Victorian restrictions which keep hotels and restaurants closed must be reversed

The Victorian Government must urgently reverse shocking restrictions which prevent regional Victorian hotels, restaurants and cafes from opening due to untenable density limits.

The restrictions which cap the number of patrons at 10 inside and 20 outside are not just cruel but criminal.

For the average hotel or restaurant, the revenue derived from so few diners or patrons would not even equate to the cost of turning on the fridges.

The Victorian Government has deliberately imposed restrictions it knows will make it impossible for most hotels, cafes and restaurants to open.

There is no public health rationale in allowing retail stores to operate with density limits of one person per four square metres while hotels and restaurants are capped at 10 people inside, no matter the size of the venue.  This is just utter madness.

For the events, tourism and hospitality sector, the goalposts have changed so many times.

Hospitality venues must be permitted to trade with density limits of at least 1 person per 4 squares metre inside, and 1 person per 2 square metres outside, which is the position backed by the Australian Hotels Association.

One hospitality operator told me today that the economic carnage from restrictions was so severe that many regional hospitality businesses were facing collapse. This operator said: “We need hope and a proper roadmap out.  Things have got so bad that all I hear is the death rattle.”

10 September 2021

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