Some welcome relief for local businesses has been announced in the last seven days with NSW and Victoria further easing COVID-19 restrictions, allowing a number of industries on both sides of the border to reopen.
Finally, the tourism industry in Victoria and NSW has a timeline for their reactivation with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announcing that their state’s accommodation and attractions can welcome back visitors from next Monday, June 1.
Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) Chief Executive Felicia Mariani said, “Tourism operators across the state can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that at last they have a reopen date to work towards and can commence preparations for how they will operate under any COVID-safe guidelines, with respect to clarity of density, distancing and hygiene protocols.
“This also means that our industry can look to be up and running in time for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend and the upcoming school holidays, with a Victorian ski season being confirmed from June 22.
“Also, with Victoria never having had any border closure issues, we are able to welcome interstate travellers back as well.”
ClubMulwala Resort in Mulwala is just one of the accommodation businesses in the area reopening from June 1.
All rooms are able to be booked with a family of four able to stay to a room but social distancing and number restrictions are in place for the use of resort amenities.
At this point no meals are available but more announcements about the reopening of the club and its facilities are to come shortly.
The Essenza Day Spa will also reopen the week after long weekend.
Owner of Lake View Motel Tony Scalzo is pleased for his business to be able to go back to business as usual as of Monday, reassuring visitors that all hygiene and sanitising measures are up to scratch.
“We have been open the whole time to essential workers that have had to travel for work even though there have not been many of them,” Mr Scalzo said.
“We will be open again for business as usual from June 1 and have had to make a few changes, although there has to be hygienic standards always in our industry.”
In the hospitality industry, a number of pubs in both Yarrawonga and Mulwala are planning to, or have already reopened, an exciting time for patrons and staff alike.
Burkes Hotel Motel is one in Yarrawonga excitedly reopening from next Monday with 20 patrons allowed in each enclosed space providing up to around 80 members of the community at a time with their missed pub meals and beverages.
“Although Burkes may look a little different, the way we do things with the restrictions in place and the quality of food is still there. We look forward to seeing you all from June 1,” owner Melissa Curran said.
On the other side of the border, the Royal Mail Mulwala have been opened for 10 days adhering to the maximum of 10 people at 1.5hour sittings and social distancing. As of Monday, they are hoping to allow up to 50 people in the premises.
“NSW is opening back up for business, and as we ease restrictions everybody needs to follow the health and safety guidelines, to ensure we make it a success and can continue,” the Royal Mail Facebook read.
“We will be open for lunch and dinner. Bookings essential and a maximum of 10 per table.
“Time restrictions will apply to patrons; sanitising will be a requirement.”
Lake Mulwala Bakery has remained open for takeaway throughout the COVID-19 pandemic but has since reopened for dine-in with 10 people at a time able to sit in the bakery and enjoy their coffee, slices and pies. Further easing of restrictions may also occur from Monday so keep an eye out.
In Victoria Belle’s Café has also still been supplying the town with their coffees and delicacies through takeaway service but will be reopening for dine in service with a maximum of 20 people at any one time from Monday.
With the reopening of a number of businesses and the easing of multiple restrictions, the local community will look forward to returning to a sense of normality and to support our local businesses but it is important we remain vigilant and stay safe to ensure these businesses remain open.