News that mask rules could soon be scrapped means smiles are back on the faces of WA hospitality business owners.
Doubleview cafe Little Sisto has been operating takeaway-only for more than six weeks, after owner Kate Wilson made the tough decision to suspend dine-in services in early March.
“We went one week with the 2sqm rule, but we realised it just wasn’t going to work,” she said.
“So we’ve been doing takeaways ever since then. But honestly, I can’t go on like this anymore.
“We need the masks to go, because this late in the game, they’re just a barrier stopping people from wanting to come out.”
According to The West Australian, the State Government is finalising plans to ease several of the remaining public health measures — including compulsory mask wearing indoors.
Ms Wilson said the scrapping of indoor mask requirements couldn’t come any sooner for her cafe.
She said in the weeks immediately after WA opened its borders, the community’s confidence had fallen dramatically, resulting in a widespread reluctance to head out.
“At the beginning … I think people were more strict on wearing them (face masks) because they were more wary, but now I feel like enough people have had COVID that their confidence is coming back, and so people are over it,” she said.
“They want to go out, they want to enjoy what they used to do and get together with people.
While Ms Wilson said she was extremely relieved by the news, she hoped the State Government would “give a little bit of a warning”.
“The expectation from customers once an announcement like that is made is ‘boom, you should be ready’, but it does take some time to restock, get those orders in, roster more staff.”
Property Council WA executive director Sandra Brewer said removing masks would help restore vibrancy in the CBD and boost the State’s economy.
“Now is absolutely the right time to remove mask mandates,” she said. “With nation-leading vaccination rates and with the knowledge of having witnessed the transition on the east coast, WA should now remove masks and confidently start living with COVID-19.”
For more from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, Australian Hotels Association WA, Australian Medical Association WA and Opposition Health Minister, visit thewest.com.au.