REBOUNDING: The Criterion Hotel GM Jay Hill's sights are set on stage three of eased restrictions.
REBOUNDING: The Criterion Hotel GM Jay Hill's sights are set on stage three of eased restrictions.

The Cri eyes rebound with COVID Safe plan

IT MIGHT be back to work for staff at The Criterion Hotel, but for general manager Jay Hill that does not necessarily mean business as usual.

Despite the beloved Rockhampton venue's reopening last month, Mr Hill said while thrilled to be back, state-mandated social distancing had presented its share of challenges.

"Government regulations, even if they are restrictions that are easing, there's still a few hoops that we need to jump through," he said.

"Some of my staff are finding it a little bit difficult to digest all the information, as well as try and give their best customer service at the same time."

Among the list of changes are the state's new industry-specific COVID Safe plans, a strategy which permits dine-in venues the opportunity to cater to customers beyond the usual 20-person limit.

BOOST: The Criterion Hotel is welcoming patrons back to its front bar, newsroom and steak house
BOOST: The Criterion Hotel is welcoming patrons back to its front bar, newsroom and steak house

The catch, however, is premises must be sizeable enough to be divided into defined areas and observe the four-square metre rule - with a 20-person limit to one defined space.

Other patrons in the venue must be separated from other defined areas by a minimum of 1.5 meters, remain seated and be provided table service by a dedicated staff member.

Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll revealed the plans last week as part of the state's COVID-19 management following the introduction of stage two of eased restrictions in June.

Mr Hill said the venue was considering how to adopt the measures, before confirming its front bar, newsroom and steak house were operational.

"We've actually already engaged in the process, we started off slowly, obviously once everyone got the news that it was something venues were doing, we had a lot of people on our front doors."

BIG FAN: Prime Minister Scott Morrison samples the Criterion Hotel’s brews last year.
BIG FAN: Prime Minister Scott Morrison samples the Criterion Hotel’s brews last year.

The hotel's lodging had an inevitable downturn during COVID-19 shutdowns with its budget accommodation temporarily closed and its motel near empty.

"It's on a really small increase, we've only just opened up a few of the rooms upstairs. We kept our motel facilities open during the duration. It's very slow, but now that Queensland can move around freely among itself, we have noticed a small increase," Mr Hill said.

Accommodation operators, along with field sports, fitness facilities, campgrounds, and hotels and clubs are also subject to their own industry specific COVID Safe plan.

State-mandated personal hygiene and infection control - measures business had already adopted - are also reinforced throughout the plans.

Pre-screening protocols of both staff and customers and contactless payment options have also been recommended.

Stage three of eased restrictions will likely come into place July 10.



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