Why most pubs likely won't be opening any time soon

We might have to wait a little longer than expected to enjoy a cold schooner and a chicken parmigiana at the pub despite easing coronavirus restrictions.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a three-stage roadmap on Friday detailing “the road back” for the country which includes opening libraries, cafes and restaurants as part of stage one.

But pubs are listed at stage three. Of course, the reopening and easing of restrictions is up to the states and territories and should they choose to they can reopen bars.

The Northern Territory said last week it plans on reopening its pubs on Friday, May 15, albeit with a number of restrictions in place.

A sign in front of Fortune of War pub reads 'so long but not farewell' before it shut down due to coronavirus concerns, in Sydney, Australia.
A sign outside of Sydney's Fortune of War pub before it closed temporarily. Source: AAP

Queensland, on Friday, said pubs will also reopen on May 15 with only 10 people permitted in a venue at a time.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said on Friday, RSLs and community halls will reopen on May 11, but nightclubs, bars and restaurants won’t restart until at least June 8.

It’s not known when bars will reopen in Western Australia, ACT, NSW, Victoria or Tasmania.

Pubs ‘left blindsided’ by national re-opening plan

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) has been advising National Cabinet on how nightclubs and pubs can reopen safely.

Yahoo News Australia obtained a copy of the AHA’s submission to cabinet earlier this week, which outlines recommendations including stopping communal food and cutlery, and temperature check for patrons if possible.

But the AHA is less than pleased with the Federal Government’s explanation following its proposals with CEO Stephen Ferguson claiming hotels “have been left blindsided”.

The industry group says the road map to recovery is inconsistent and could force some hotels and pubs shut permanently.

“They basically will not be able to re-open their businesses until stage three of the recovery process,” Mr Ferguson said.

“The roadmap to recovery measures announced (Friday) has not provided a plan to help pub and hotel operators who are being pushed to the wall by mounting debt and bills for their closed venues.

Mr Ferguson said the plan failed to account for venues with large floor space and that even though restrictions were being removed, venues aren’t necessarily going to open their doors.

“Why can only 10 people be allowed in a dining area of a huge venue that could safely socially distance 120?”

He added: “Sadly, most hotels will be forced to remain closed while the bills keep coming in”.

A general view of inside Hotel Palisade in Millers Point photographed through a window in Sydney, Australia.
Hotel Palisade in Sydney's suburb of Millers Point shutdown due to the pandemic. Source: Getty Images

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said on Friday he won’t be making changes until at least May 11 when the state of emergency ends.

Mr Andrews said his government will “choose elements” of the roadmap provided by Mr Morrison to make decisions “that best suit Victoria”.

The premier noted his state has had many more community transmissions than others.

He said that although the lockdown is frustrating for residents, it is not worth “throwing away all the progress” the state has made.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told the Sydney Morning Herald she won’t rush things either but indicated residents could see changes by either late May or June.

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