Hospitality restart linked to compulsory hygiene course

Jackson Lavell-LeeAugusta Margaret River Times

Hospitality businesses in the Capes have implored patrons to abide by safety measures to fast-track re-opening amid a stagnant diagnosis rate of COVID-19 in the South West.

No pub or cafe will be allowed to reopen in WA until all staff have completed a new COVID-19 hygiene training course.

The online course will cover all aspects of good hygiene practice in a post-COVID-19 environment, from hand hygiene and food handling to sanitation and cleaning.

The course has been developed by the State Government in collaboration with the Australian Hotels Association and based on World Health Organisation guidelines.

On Wednesday, Premier Mark McGowan said the $1.8 million course was part of “getting us ready for a restart”. “We’re expecting up to 70,000 hospitality workers to take up this training,” he said.

“This is to provide confidence to venues and to customers when the time comes to reopen so we all know the very safest of environments is in place.”

The Times understands Bayside Burgers, Cafe D Amore and Good Egg Cafe are among businesses wanting to reopen due to a lack of cases in the South West which cannot because of restrictions.

Dunsborough Tavern manager Josh Williams said his pub had been affected by a 30 per cent decrease in yearly profit in just eight weeks and he was the only employee left with a job.

“We’ve been impacted massively. I don't expect it to go back to normal — I think it will be 60 per cent of what it was before,” he said.

“It’s about managing expectations. We live in a world where we’re used to knowing and when there is the great unknown its uncomfortable and we look for someone to blame.”

He said opening the tavern for 10 people or fewer, as per the relaxing of social gathering restrictions, was “not viable”.

“For heaps of small businesses that’s just not enough. I think if we were to reopen it would have to go back to the social distancing measure of one person per square metre but it’s not about making money, my biggest focus is the staff and we won’t open until it’s safe to do so.

“I want to get them paid, working, happy and healthy.”

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