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Country pubs push for looser COVID-19 restrictions

Country pub owners are lobbying the state government to relax restrictions for them, saying it is killing business.

They say they deserve to have looser restrictions than in Melbourne, given the low rates of coronavirus in regional areas.

Ray Sharawara, owner of Bendigo’s Shamrock Hotel, said the four-square-metre rule and limit of 20 people per room needed to be relaxed.

“People want to come here and we want people to come so we can actually be successful,” he said.

Mr Sharawara said pub owners would continue to follow the rules and would do what they were told.

But they’re asking for special consideration.

When asked about the possibility of Melburnians visiting and bringing the virus with them, Mr Sharawara said the answer was simple.

“If you’re crook, don’t come,” he said.

“It’s simple.”

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