Iconic pub scene ‘may never recover’ from COVID-19 lockdown
Melbourne’s iconic pub scene may never recover from the COVID-19 lockdown, the Victorian president of the Australian Hotel Association has warned.
Victorian publicans and sections of the hospitality industry were left frustrated by the government’s latest update on restrictions.
They can’t open for the AFL grand final and may have to wait until the start of November to open their doors.
But the restrictions imposed won’t be viable, David Canny told Neil Mitchell.
He said it was “death by 1000 cuts” for the industry.
“There’s no doubt we are going to lose pubs,” he said.
“I think the hospitality landscape in this state may well be changed forever, which is a devastating blow.”
Mr Canny said the industry had proven it could operate in a COVID-safe manner.
“We are not looking to throw the doors open,” he said.
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Paul Zahra, CEO of the Australian Retailers Association, said there was also anger in the retail sector.
“It’s been a rollercoaster ride of expectations, delays and disappointment,” he said.
“I guess what we are pleased about is that at least we have a date.”
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