UPDATE FROM BERNIE HOGAN QHA CEO
With the extraordinarily welcome gradual lifting in restrictions, I wanted to assure members we have been working closely with both the state and federal governments and have submitted ‘opening and recovery plans’ to support our industry’s recovery in a way that is both safe and sustainable for the benefit of our businesses, our employees and the wider community.
The QHA has proposed to the Queensland Government how the hotel and hospitality industry more broadly should be able to operate during an easing of the restrictions. We suggest that the COVID-19 virus does not distinguish between a patron having a coffee in a café, a meal in a restaurant, a cocktail by a resort pool, or a pot in their local pub.
Our proposal is made with the understanding that the Health Directions from the Chief Health Officer are the guiding principles, and as the outbreak is progressively brought under control, it is time to consider an “exit strategy”. QHA have suggested that there needs to be a staged approach, and that restrictions are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure members can progress to full trading as soon as possible.
The QHA has warned that venues will not be able to sustain 25 per cent capacity – that the one person per 4sqm rule would equate to – for very long, as for most venues this would not even cover fixed costs.
The QHA proposal is grouped under 3 broad headings that generally cover:
- Patron Safety – promote the Tracing App; capacity and social distancing management
- Staff Training & Hygiene – pre-opening and induction into new operational protocols
- Operational Health Risk Management – cleanliness and sterilisation; service management; payments; infection protocol, staff training.
AHA’s proposal to the National Cabinet
The QHA has been working with all the AHA states and following this week’s first meeting of the National Cabinet to discuss the easing of restrictions, the Prime Minister mentioned the set of recommendations put forth by the AHA as “exactly the thing we’re looking for from industry groups right across the country”.
The QHA proposal is aligned with the AHA’s and we believe our staged approach will provide government and health officials with knowledge that will assist further decision making as the COVID-19 outbreak becomes increasingly under control.
QHA will be developing Hotel Covid-Safe Plans, Checklist templates and venue signage for QHA members to utilise when the re-opening timeframes are determined.