Tumut’s clubs are preparing to open up again with the easing of restrictions across NSW.
Since yesterday, pubs, clubs, casinos, cafes and restaurants can have up to 50 customers per separate seated food and drink area, but strict regulations will apply.
Club Tumut will be reopening tomorrow, as the bistro is normally closed on a Monday and Tuesday so it was not viable to open on these days.
Hours will be reduced from pre-Covid-19 times, with the club opening from 12 noon 9pm Wednesday to Friday and 11am to 9pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Club CEO Jarrad Rossiter says the club will be ready to restart business in this unprecedented era.
“We have had two cleaners in, sanitized the place, wiped everything down, and put sanitizing stations in,” he said.
“When people walk in the front door, there will be foot-operated hands-free sanitizing station they can use before signing in. We will have a door marshal and staff making sure people are in the right place at the right time, and if the maximum is reached, we won’t let any more people in. It’s a pain, but that’s what we’ve got to do to keep the business viable.”
People and tables will be spaced in accordance with Covid-19 regulations and there will be a maximum of 10 at each table. Due to the different areas of the club, a maximum of 80 people will be allowed on the whole premises.
It has been a difficult period for clubs to get through, and Club Tumut has eight employees on Job Keeper.
“Administration have been working restricted hours, paying the bills and keeping everything in order,” Mr Rossiter said.
“The take-away food selling staff have been on a rotating roster.”
He is grateful for the help from the government.
“If we didn’t have Job Keeper it would be very different,” he said.
Tumut Golf Club will reopen on Friday.
Club president Geoff Brain said the club could have opened on Monday, but renovations (mainly painting) are underway in the clubhouse.
“We will be opening on Friday on a tentative basis,” he said.
“We will put corrals up and people will have to go to the bar one at a time.”
Having people on the golf course has helped the club get through the Covid-19 crisis.
“We’ve been getting a steady trade and I suspect a lot of people have had cabin fever,” Mr Brain said.
“The weather has been on our side with beautiful days, and we have had a record number of golfers, who we hope will keep coming. It (Covid-19) has been a bit of a blessing in one way, as it has been our only source of revenue.”
The club has been selling packaged beer out of the pro shop, and when the clubhouse reopens, beer may be sold in the same way.
“Simply because we had to send a lot of kegs back (the club was credited for them by Carlton and United Breweries) and we don’t want to be buying kegs we can’t sell,” Mr Brain said.
Mr Brain praised the group of volunteers carrying out the renovations and is looking forward to getting people back in to enjoy them.
Every second poker machine will be available as will TAB and Keno facilities.
Opening hours have not been decided yet, but are likely to be reduced.
“It’s almost business as usual and it will be nice to get open again,” Mr Brain said.
Meanwhile, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it is vital both businesses and patrons follow health and safety guidelines, to ensure we keep people in jobs and businesses in business.
“We need to accept life will be different until we have an effective treatment or a vaccine,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Everyone should maintain physical distancing and practise good hygiene, and if even the mildest symptoms present such as a sore throat or runny nose, get yourself tested.
“A simple tip advocated by health experts is to act as if you are infectious which will help you think twice about how you interact around others, as more restrictions are eased.”