SENTINEL-TIMES COMMENT

IT’S been tough for business during the COVID-19 restrictions, but as we saw at the weekend, the coastal communities in particular can spring back quickly as the restrictions ease.
Of course, when the vaccine arrives, there’s no reason why we can’t get back to normal early next year.
The opening up of gyms, pools and other sporting venues from Sunday, the ability to stage bigger functions, to have more workable numbers sitting down in pubs and cafés, and the rest of the easing of restrictions is great news.
So too is the removal of masks in public places, certainly a highly restrictive measure while it was in place.
But away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday weekends along the coast, our other towns including Wonthaggi, Korumburra, Leongatha, Mirboo North, Foster and Yarram really need our retail and hospitality support if they are to have a chance of making a full recovery.
COVID hastened the move to purchasing online so in the run up to Christmas, we’re going to have to dial that back considerably and at least try to “shop locally”.
That also extends to booking venues for your Christmas party, or like Alex Scott and Staff, choose an outdoor venue locally where you can bring in the local catering, local music and requisites if you have a big group.
Local restaurants, cafés and pubs have all opened bookings for work and family Christmas parties and with the Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton clearing the way to large groups attending functions, everyone should be on the phone booking their usual functions.
And let’s make it an extra big celebration this year – we’ve earned it.
Well done to everyone for doing their bit to drive the virus out, but as Professor Sutton stressed on Sunday, the hygiene basics remain: wash your hands regularly in soapy water, keep your distance, use hand sanitiser and for many, keep working from home where possible.