Border cafes ready to implement new COVID measures
BUSINESSES on Queensland’s border are preparing to take COVID measures into their own hands after an outbreak of the virus has rapidly spread in Victoria and New South Wales.
Wallangarra Railway Café owner Kim Hearn said the business was ready to implement additional measures to ensure the safety of workers and customers.
“We have done it already, actually. Through the holidays it was ridiculously busy and we had to put a closed for 30 minutes sign on the door to keep people out,” she said.
“That’s how busy we were. You have to take those steps.
“You’ve got to look after yourself and you are responsible for yourself and your business.”
Ms Hearn said business demand had declined ever-so slightly since the borders reopened and the Queensland school holidays ended.
“Once they’ve got through the border, they don’t want to stop here anymore,” she said.
“We are busy, but not as busy as the two weeks of the Queensland holidays.”
While the border remains open to New South Wales residents, people from the local government area of Liverpool and Campbelltown will be denied entry.
“Looking at the contact details people have been writing down, there hasn’t been anyone from that area,” Ms Hearn said.
“Mostly people here are from Brisbane or are locals. The most people from NSW are from Tenterfield.
“I would be hesitant of Victorians coming in.”
Similar fears have been expressed by those slightly north of the border, with Ballandean Estate Wines considering reducing numbers in their cellar door.
Client relations officer Leeanne Gangemi said the business was “thinking of themselves” and the safety of their staff.
“Queenslanders felt comfortable holidaying in Queensland; they were happy because they knew we were in a safe environment,” she said.
“All the people who have come over, we don’t know where they are.
“I think that’s going to strike a bit of fear and people will isolate by themselves.”
While some business owners are fearful of a second wave, others are prepared to maintain the current COVIDSafe plan, as issued by the government.
Stanthorpe RSL club manager Jean Hallas said the facility would continue to allow up to 196 patrons through the restaurant.
“We are open under the COVID safety plan for club, so we are limited on numbers anyway,” she said.
“We are governed by the government, if that changes then we’ll change.”