Easing restrictions music to the ears of battered businesses
GRANITE Belt stores are rejoicing in relaxed COVID-19 restrictions that will come into effect at 11.59pm this Friday.
Several stores across the region have announced that they’ll reopen their doors to the public this Saturday.
Stanthorpe Cheese and Jersey Girls Cafe shut up shop back in March for the first time in their 15 year history.
Saturday can’t come soon enough according to cheesemaker Will Rodgers.
“Normally this is when we’d be doing really big weekends with tour buses but we’ve had virtually nothing,” Mr Rodgers said.
“It’s going to be quite major if people start travelling and come to see us again.”
The change in restrictions allows gatherings of up to 10 people and travel of up to 150 kilometres.
“If you draw a radius circle from our shop, that 150km stretches past Ipswich and to the outer western suburbs of Brisbane,” Mr Rodgers said.
“We’ll be following the COVID-19 health restrictions with 10 people in the shop and still 1.5 metres apart. We’re all set up for that,” he said.
Cheese tastings and the cafe will be running from 10am-4pm on Saturday and 10am-1pm on Sunday.
Another to announce their return is Jamworks Gourmet Foods at Glen Aplin.
“We are so excited to be reopening,” owners Steph Ingall and Christine Hood said.
“We will be offering a light option menu as we get back into the swing of things.
“Again, we thank you for your continued support and understanding during this challenging period,” the pair said.
But other venues say reopening isn’t an option just yet.
“We would have to stop everything to allow ten people in for a lunch service, and given the amount they’d be able to spend in that period of time … the benefits just aren’t there,” Dee Davenport from the Granite Belt Brewery said.
She believes they could have to wait until Stage 2 or 3 before getting back to business.
“We’ve all breathed a big sigh of relief, to know we have a date to work towards,” she said.
“But we’ll be taking it steady.”