Final hurrah at pubs, clubs as restrictions tighten

Tammy Waters pulls a beer from the taps at the Criterion Hotel on Monday morning before pubs and clubs closed at midday. Photo: Peter Guthrie

Tammy Waters pulls a beer from the taps at the Criterion Hotel on Monday morning before pubs and clubs closed at midday. Photo: Peter Guthrie

It was a sombre mood at Young's Criterion Hotel on Monday morning as its regular customers shared a beer before all pubs and clubs closed at midday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the new restrictions on Sunday night after a meeting of state, territory and federal leaders.

Criterion Hotel owner and manager Sheree Ferrari described her pub as a "community within a community".

"It's devastating. We have about 30 or 40 men [regulars] a day come in, they don't get drunk, they just come in and talk and chat. It's their outing of the day. They're going to be alone now. It's sad. When they're unwell and can't come in we ring and talk to them," Sheree said.

"There's also loss of wages. We employ 11 people. Everyone is a worker here so how boring is it going to be. Two weeks would be fine, but who wants to have months off. It's a really big change."

Sheree never considered not opening the pub on Monday morning, despite having to close at midday.

"If we had of shut the doors on this lot they'd be devastated. They'll be here till 12pm. It's goodbye. It's really sad."

Sheree said the pub's kitchen will be shut too.

"There's people in the kitchen cleaning it. There's no point. It's just a tease to have the people come in and get a takeaway and they can't have a beer or play the pokies," she said.

One customer acknowledged that the public needed to follow the health safety measures.

"It's got to be done. We hate it, it's my local pub but you have to listen to what the government says," he said.

Sheree said the Criterion would reopen as soon as the restrictions are lifted.

"I've said the second they announce we can reopen, come in the next day and we'll be open. The staff will be waiting and we'll make it happen. It's such a shame because we're a busy little pub gone to nothing."

Some cafes in Young have closed while others, along with some pubs, clubs and restaurants, are adjusting to operating in a take-away only system.

Churches, casinos, cinemas, gyms, indoor sports venues and entertainment venues were also closed on Monday, along with the licensed parts of hotels across Australia.

HAVE YOUR SAY: What do you think? Let us know by filling in the form below