Red and white closed sign hanging in a shop window
Red and white closed sign hanging in a shop window

Hospitality industry faces annihilation in lockdown

 

QUEENSLAND'S hospitality sector would be devastated if health authorities order bars, clubs and pubs to close to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The body that represents the state's venues has also warned against a statewide one-size-fits-all policy in Queensland, fearing it would harm regional businesses unnecessarily.

It comes as pubs, clubs and bars are expected to be subject to revised mass-gathering bans when authorities meet later today.

Total lockdowns in Europe have already seen iconic venues in cities such as Paris and Madrid closed to limit the spread of the disease.

Queensland Hotels Association chief executive Bernie Hogan said any decision to close bars, pubs and hotels would need to take into consideration the great variety of venues within Queensland.

"In regional areas, it's very different," Mr Hogan said.

"Any policy which is made with a thought to high-density areas in our capital cities is not the same as it is in a place like Cunnamulla or Longreach or Cloncurry.

 

 

"To have one-size-fits-all sadly just doesn't fit."

Mr Hogan said establishments around the state had already been provided advice to clamp down on the spread of the disease, including ensuring patrons remain social distance, moving toward more cashless transactions and reducing the number of "high-touch" places in venues.

Brian Fitzgibbons, who owns The Osbourne Hotel in Spring Hill and The Glen Hotel in Eight Mile Plains, said the impact of a lockdown would be immense.

"The health and safety of everyone is No.1," Mr Fitzgibbons said.

"Any long-term lockdown is going to be absolutely devastating for the whole industry."

Mr Fitzgibbons said casual workers would also feel the impact of any shutdown or limits on crowd sizes.

 

 

"A lot of people depend on us too," he said.

Shaun Fugill, who co-owns Teneriffe small business and bar Zero Fox, said any shutdown would hit right in the middle of their 10-day beer festival.

"I'm hoping it doesn't get to that," Mr Fugill said.

"We're on day four (of the festival) at the moment."

Mr Fugill said he had thought about the potential for his bar and others to be shut down to stop the virus' spread, but hoped it wouldn't be necessary.

"We still need to make money, I'm still going to need to pay rent if we do close," he said.

"Our staff still need to make money; they still need to live too."


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