DOUBLE OR NOTHING: Venue wants rule clarification

 

Outdoor areas in Queensland restaurants can have double the patrons from today, but a major Townsville venue is struggling to make sense of the "vague" definitions.

Long queues have been standard fare for the Ville Resort and Casino's popular venue Quarterdeck, after it reopened following the lockdown, with eager patrons keen to get through the door.

From today, outdoor venues will be allowed to have one person for every 2sq m, but The Ville, unable to make sense of the vague definition of what an outdoor venue is, will keep the old rules in play at the Quarterdeck.

Chief executive Michael Jones said because of the layout, with a bi-fold door separating the internal and external sections, the venue and the business was not willing to risk getting it wrong.

Miss Songs' balcony and the Splash Bar were clearly outdoor venues, Mr Jones said.

"With Quaterdeck, which has bi-fold doors, when the doors are closed, I assume the Quaterdeck outdoor area would be an outdoor area … but when the doors are all open, we still don't know," Mr Jones said.

Bar supervisor Mitchell Fowler from the Quarterdeck restaurant ahead of easing COVID-19 restrictions tomorrow. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Bar supervisor Mitchell Fowler from the Quarterdeck restaurant ahead of easing COVID-19 restrictions tomorrow. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

"Does that mean we can have one person per 2sq m on the balcony and one person per 4sq m inside, what if they all go up to go to the toilet, to go to the bar, are we now in breach?"

"The announcement last Friday doesn't go anywhere near far enough to allow us to try and get back some normality."

Mr Jones said the industry had no idea when further changes would be coming and needed clear direction.

Townsville Enterprise Limited director of visitor economy Lisa Woolfe said an updated road map and certainty leading into Christmas would go a long way for the industry.

"We look forward to more clarity around what constitutes an outdoor venue for businesses," Ms Woolfe said.

Bar supervisor Mitchell Fowler from the Quarterdeck restaurant ahead of easing COVID-19 restrictions tomorrow. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Bar supervisor Mitchell Fowler from the Quarterdeck restaurant ahead of easing COVID-19 restrictions tomorrow. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

"Our advocacy around this issue recognises it is possible to have more commonsense relaxations based on our medical circumstances and drawing comparisons to the science-based restrictions in place elsewhere around Australia."

Two weeks ago TEL and the Townsville Chamber of Commerce wrote to the Premier and Chief Health Officer asking for density restrictions to shift and align with South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and Northern Territory.

"Our letter to the Premier recommended introducing a 1 person per 2sq m density rule across the tourism and hospitality sector for all Local Government Areas outside of hot spots," Ms Woolfe said.

Queensland Health's definition of an outdoor area says it has fixed or temporary boundaries but is not fully enclosed, is open to the elements and has natural air flow.

Originally published as DOUBLE OR NOTHING: Venue wants rule clarification


Mayor welcomes commitment from LNP Leader on key roads

Premium Content Mayor welcomes commitment from LNP Leader on key roads

Mayor Brett Otto has welcomed the announcement that an LNP government will support...

REVEALED: Burnett Highway rest area to receive major upgrade

Premium Content REVEALED: Burnett Highway rest area to receive major upgrade

A popular Burnett Highway stop spot will receive funding for well-needed upgrade.

Why these North Burnett kindies are the best in the region

Premium Content Why these North Burnett kindies are the best in the region

These two North Burnett kindergartens are the best in the region, exceeding all...