The Australian Hotels Association WA (AHA WA) has welcomed news that the state’s border will reopen next months, but says the state’s venues are relying on capacity restrictions to be brief.

AHA WA CEO Bradley Woods said the borders reopening on 3 March provides certainty and confidence to WA’s hotel, hospitality and tourism sector, while warning that expanding density limits to one in four square metres would decimate businesses.

“The announcement of WA’s border reopening is a positive step in the right direction, signalling to Australia and the world that we will soon be open for business and ready to see the return of business and leisure visitors,” Woods said.

“Part of recovering from the pandemic is having a plan that allows hotels and hospitality venues to prepare, market and take forward bookings from visitors, so today’s announcement will deliver the certainty that WA businesses need.

“While the border reopening date is positive, the return of capacity restrictions is not welcome news for hospitality venues, who bear the brunt of such measures.”

“WA is better prepared than any other state for the arrival and spread of Omicron and we urge the Government to ensure the one in 2sqm capacity restrictions apply for only a very limited period.

“Capacity restrictions directly impact on revenue and limit the ability for venues to trade through the pandemic, making any further restrictions beyond one in 2sqm limits unfeasible.”

‘If we see restrictions imposed such as South Australia’s hospitality-destroying density limits of one in 4sqm, there will be widespread business closures and mass job losses.”

Both New South Wales and Victoria have announced an end to density limits in venues, and Woods said he welcomed Premier McGowan’s acknowledgement of the financial impact that restrictions like one in 4sqm have and for flagging financial compensation to support affected businesses.

“Without adequate compensation to navigate the period ahead, many of WA’s hospitality venues will be left with no choice other than to shed staff, or worse,” Woods said.

“The AHA commends the WA Government for today’s common-sense decision to bring bottle shops in line with other retail outlets by removing proof of vaccination requirements.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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