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Last drinks? Pubs warn of dire consequences without this tweak to restrictions

Victorian pub owners say half of all licensed venues could go broke within 12 months if social distancing restrictions aren’t eased.

Many rejoiced when Daniel Andrews announced people could drink with friends without a meal from June 22.

But publicans have talked down the business impacts of that change when they can still only have one person per four square-metres.

They want Victoria to follow the lead of other states and allow one person to two square-metres.

“It is difficult to manage and, quite frankly, not economic,” Paddy O’Sullivan, chief of the Australian Hotels Association Victoria, told Ross and John this morning.

“Everyone must become seated and that becomes quite restrictive … because that way you’re a lot less inclined to drop into the local and catch up with your mates.

“Publicans are doing it pretty tough, but they’re doing it in a very compliant way.

“But we’re hoping for the health authorities to come onboard, start to relax some of these restrictions so we can get back to normality.”

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