Economy expected to pick up after COVID-19 restrictions relaxed

By Daniel Hughes

Local economies will kick start once again when coronavirus restrictions start to ease in New South Wales from Friday, May 15.

Social settings and businesses closures have plagued the Southern Riverina since restrictions started earlier this year.

As restrictions are set to ease later this week, Finley Chamber of Commerce president Gary Carr believes it should quickly stimulate the economy.

“The reopening of some of our businesses in Finley will be massive for not only our economy but also for the mental health of our residents,” Mr Carr said.

“It’s so important that we all stay connected.

“Now it seems we are out of the worst of the restrictions, it will mean a lot for restaurants and cafes will be able to seat people again, however limited that may be for now.

“Not only will this kick start our hospitality industry but all businesses around Finley will start to open their doors which again, which will get more people socialising and interacting.

“I still implore everyone to continue to follow social distancing rules and maintain hygiene, especially when out in public.”

The state government announced their plan to ease restrictions over the weekend, which is in line with the Federal Government’s three-step framework announced by the National Cabinet last Friday.

Changes announced include:
● Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people;
● Cafes and restaurants can seat up to 10 patrons at any one time;
● Households can have up to five visitors at any one time;
● Weddings can have up to 10 guests;
● Indoor funerals can have up to 20 mourners, outdoor funerals up to 30;
● Religious gatherings and places of worship can have up to 10 worshippers;
● Outdoor equipment can be used with caution and;
● Outdoor pools can open with restrictions.

With the National Cabinet recommending the return of regional and interstate travel between now and July, we can expect to see visitation to the Southern Riverina region coming months.

However, the NSW Government has not yet confirmed when it might implement those rules.

Stage two is expected to include being able to go to the gym, visit beauty therapists, go to cinemas, theatres, amusement parks, galleries and museums, and have gatherings of up to 20 people.

The final stage is expected to see gatherings of up to 100 allowed, the opening of food courts, saunas and bathhouses, and allow all interstate travel.

But these are just guidelines, with each state and territory to decide on and unveil its individual plans at a later date.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said without a vaccine ‘‘we need to be vigilant, especially when restrictions lift’’.

‘‘There will inevitably be more cases, so social distancing will become even more crucial.’’

Anyone requiring crisis support can contact NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511, Lifeline Australia on 131 114, Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.