Easing of COVID-19 restrictions ahead of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend has been welcomed by the City of Hobart, as it sends out a message that Hobart is open for business.
Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said Premier Peter Gutwein’s announcement that Stage 2 easing of restrictions would be brought forward to this Friday was a boost for Hobart’s economy.
“From this Friday afternoon, more businesses will be able to open their doors; more customers will be able to enjoy a visit to their favourite café or restaurant; and we will be able to gather more freely with our friends and families,” Cr Reynolds said. “We look forward to welcoming people back into the city, whether they are returning for work, to access businesses or for recreation.”
The City of Hobart will reopen its public barbecues in parks and reserves from this weekend. The maximum number of people allowed on playgrounds will increase to 20.Residents will also be free to travel around the state this long weekend.
“We hope that this easing of travel and gathering restrictions will entice people to get out in our city and support local businesses,” Cr Reynolds said. “The more traders that are able to open their doors, the more vibrant and diverse our city becomes.”
There are more than 6500 businesses registered in the City of Hobart, including nearly 700 retailers.
“It’s been a particularly difficult time for many of our small businesses,” Cr Reynolds said. “We’re excited to see more business owners and employees back doing what they do best and we encourage people to get out and support them.
“You might even find some improvements to the city when you get there. We’ve been busy cleaning, maintaining and upgrading heavy-traffic areas of the city during the quieter time.”
Works in the city have included footpath improvements in Murray Street, stormwater works in Liverpool Street, resurfacing of various city roads, and repairs to loose pavers in high-pedestrian areas.
At Salamanca Place, a new stormwater main has been installed and the footpaths have been pressure cleaned in readiness for a return of diners to the precinct.
Cr Reynolds thanked the Hobart community for their role in reducing the health impacts of COVID-19.
“It’s testament to the excellent response by our community in following physical distancing guidelines that we have no active cases of COVID-19 in southern Tasmania,” she said.