State Covid-19 restrictions eased on Friday but for some businesses this meant the same or less people were allowed in their business.
Townsville Chamber of Commerce President Michele Falconieri highlight how important it is to see how the roadmap to recovery is being practically applied at a grassroots level.
“The reality we are hearing from members is one of confusion and concern especially in the hospitality industry where stage 3 restrictions haven’t eased, and in some cases become more restrictive on the capacity allowed,” said Mr.Falconieri.
“Most business owners are bending over backwards to do the right thing, but it’s disappointing when implementing 4sqm rule for businesses over 200sqm (specifically 201sqm -450sqm), means some establishments have had to reduce their capacity. Whilst for businesses under 200sqm the restrictions have eased with a 2sqm rule.
“It’s also a double standard when from Friday groups up to 100 people are now able to gather in private residences without a COVID safe plan, social distancing, hand-washing facilities or minimum bathroom requirements.
“We are talking about businesses that are not financially able to operate for the hours they did previously even with the Jobseeker grant in place, and they have customers queuing outside during the hours they are able to operate but are not allowed to serve them.
“With the borders due to open this week we need to help businesses to ensure that they are viable and able to cater to the current demand and the new demand.
“We believe this is an honest oversight by the state government and an easy one to fix for businesses like C Bar who have lost out on trade over the long weekend,” said Mr. Falconieri
“As the voice of our members Chamber fully support a request for a modification to the current ruling and advocate for 1 person per 2sqm for businesses with a COVID Safe Plan in place,” said Mr. Falconieri.
The Townsville Chamber of Commerce are also advocating that all levels of Government stop relying on businesses to be the police for covid safe restrictions.
Mr. Falconieri highlighted that at the start of the pandemic there was united advertising campaign from all levels of government that the personal responsibility of staying safe during a pandemic was critical.
“There has been a major shift with responsibility shifting from the individual to the business community and this method is not proving successful,” said Mr. Falconieri.
“All the responsibility cannot be continually put on business to implement plans to keep individuals safe.
“Consumer confidence is critical in the rebuilding of the economy but confusion around restrictions make it very difficult for businesses to manage. Confused customers direct their frustrations at people working in businesses, and business owners have to ask customers to leave. As a business owner, watching disgruntled consumers walk away when you are struggling to stay afloat is crushing,” said Mr. Falconieri.