COVID-19: Popular Margaret River tavern undertakes extra cleaning precautions amid virus scare

Headshot of Breanna Redhead
Breanna RedheadAugusta Margaret River Times
Settlers Tavern owners Rob and Karen Gough.
Camera IconSettlers Tavern owners Rob and Karen Gough. Credit: Taylar Amonini/Busselton-DunsboroughTimes

Western Australians can be assured their favourite Margaret River pub is going above and beyond in the fight against COVID amid recent exposure announcements.

Settler’s Tavern was announced as an exposure site visited by a casual contact on Thursday January 13, but despite only being advised to send four staff members for testing, owner Rob Gough has closed the venue for the remainder of the week to ease the minds of all involved.

“Quite of a number of staff were concerned and uncertain about the level of vigilance to take,” he said.

“In the best interests of staff and patrons we have closed until Friday to give people the opportunity to get tested, and us an opportunity to do a deep clean with an approved company that has a COVID-19 cleaning program.

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“We weren’t instructed to close or do a deep clean . . we take it very seriously and we have all the right measures in place to ensure everyone’s good health and wellbeing.

“This is something that’s going to be with us for a long time in this industry and at some point we’ll need to cross this bridge so the best we can do is proceed with care.”

Mr Gough said the hospitality industry in particular was a field where many businesses contributed to one another and incidents impacted everyone if not handled appropriately.

“Our business impacts a lot of people and patrons who come through and we have a lot of suppliers and businesses who work with us, so it’s something that we are all in together — you’ve got to see the big picture.

“What’s important is the health and safety of our team and a feeling of good health and wellbeing across all fronts.

“We’ve been very fortunate here in WA and I think going forward we’re all going to work through this and are realising that it won’t be easy but at the end of the day we can see light at the end of the tunnel and we’ve just got to hang in there.”

Settlers Tavern was one of a handful of new exposure sites listed on January 13, including the Margaret RIver Visitor Centre, the town’s IGA and Coles and nearby Mammoth Cave.

The increase in exposure sites resulted in the State’s mask mandates extending to the entire South West region on January 17.

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