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Coronavirus: New restrictions for restaurants, pubs

There are no known cases of coronavirus COVID-19 in the Yass Valley at at Tuesday afternoon. Photo, Anshu A / Unsplash

There are no known cases of coronavirus COVID-19 in the Yass Valley at at Tuesday afternoon. Photo, Anshu A / Unsplash

In a bid to limit the coronavirus pandemic, new restrictions came into effect on Monday for many public places, required to close at midday.

Proprietors of pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes and gyms and leaders in places of worship in Yass are exploring their next steps.

Hospitality outlets can remain open if they only serve takeaway food and drinks.

Trader & Co on Meehan Street has begun to take orders for takeaways and deliveries. "We will be down for trade, but are positive that we are able to serve at all," said representative Sophie Peer.

"It will help us checking in with the people in the community and have some social contact with them.

"If we are busy enough, we will continue to keep our casual staff. Things are moving fast at every hour and we are not sure."

Roses Cafe on Comur Street closed its doors at noon. "...With everything that has changed so quickly in the last 24 hours, we have decided to close our doors as of 12pm today," said a statement issued on Monday. "The risk of still providing takeaway, we feel, is too great for exposing our staff and community to COVID-19. We are strong as a team and we will return even stronger.

"...Thank you to all of our communities in Mittagong, Goulburn and Yass for supporting us and sending us your love."

Galutzi's Cafe on Meehan Street is now offering takeaways. "The community has been really supportive and we are grateful for them," said co-owner Belle Green. "We are taking it as it comes and it is up to the community as well to utilise the takeaway from all such businesses in town, and not just ours.

"We are trying to maintain as much normality as we can. Our staff members have really looked after us and we can't thank them enough."

Cafe Dolcetto also closed its doors on Monday and will reopen today, Wednesday, for takeaway and deliveries only. They will take orders at the door and ask customers to wait outside until their order is ready.

Vieux restaurant and cafe has closed indefinitely.

Yass Valley Business Chamber president Andrew Curlewis said it was "really important that, as a community, we support small businesses through this time. At the end of all this, we still want to have businesses in Yass Valley operating."

Yass Valley Library will be closed to the public from 5.30pm on Friday, March 27 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The library will be closed on Monday and Tuesday so that staff can transition to a new, innovative way of keeping the service available to the community," a council spokesperson said earlier this week.

People can now use a click-and-collect model to order books online online or over the phone. Call 6226 1305.

Upon return, books will be quarantined for a required amount of days before being returned to the shelves for borrowing.

Murrumbateman Library is now closed, but still accepting returns, and the mobile library is not operating until further notice.

The Yass and Binalong pools will close on Friday, March 27 at 6.30pm, which aligns with the end of their regular swimming season.

The council's customer service and visitor information centre will remain open for now, but contact via online, via email or over the phone is encouraged and preferred.

It is likely that the council will stop accepting cash at any of its offices. Credit facilities will be available instead.

Ranger services are continuing as usual, but the animal shelter is closed to animal surrenders at this time.

"Yass Valley Council is monitoring the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation, especially in light of the strengthened restrictions announced by the government for non-essential venues," a spokesperson said.

"The council's main priority is the continuation of essential services, which will include water, wastewater, waste collection, cemeteries and environmental health.

"We are here to assist all local food premises to navigate the new government restrictions.

"If you need advisory or referral support in regards to safe food handling during this transition period, please don't hesitate to contact the council on 6226 1477."

Meanwhile, six people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD); none in Yass.