Frantic business adjustments being made

Frantic business adjustments being made

Bairnsdale businesses were carrying on as best they could on Monday morning following Premier Daniel Andrewʼs announcement that nonessential business would need to close at midday.

Many businesses, such as cafes, which had been ordered to close, had made modifications, such as removing tables and chairs, and were operating as takeaway outlets only.

Under the new coronavirus laws, cafes and restaurants are permitted to operate for takeaway or deliveries. They are forbidden to seat customers inside or outside their premises.

Sixty-two Degrees café in Nicholson Street began making adjustments last week and on Monday morning was continuing to serve its usual fare of sushi, sandwiches and wraps. Coffees were also being ordered by the regular loyal clientele.

Supervisor, Rebecca Whitfield, said some customers were disappointed they couldn’t dine in, but overall everyone was adjusting to the temporary rules in order to contain the coronavirus.

“It’s going to make it tough but there’s not much we can do about it,” Ms Whitfield said.

Around the corner in Bailey Street, Vamidilo Nails and Beauty was doing a roaring trade at 10am with women occupying virtually every available chair for a pedicure and others lined up to have their nails painted.

It was a similar story at Bairnsdale Spa and Nails on the Princes Highway.

At Headlines Unisex Hair Salon, there was an equally busy scene with women waiting to have their hair coiffed.

“We’re really busy,” proprietor Frances Hallas, said.

“It’s like the Christmas rush, the world has gone crazy.”

Frightened that hair salons may be forced to close, many women had brought their appointments forward.

However, Premier Andrews stated on Monday that hair and beauty salons would be exempt from nonessential businesses which were required to close their doors.

Bairnsdale Bikes placed a sign outside their shop which read: Stay Safe, Stay Calm, Don’t panic buy, Ride your bike, Look after each other, Drink good coffee and beer.

Just Books was busy on Monday morning, but proprietor Elaine Medhurst, said it had been “pretty dead for the last couple of weeks”.

To compromise and stay afloat in these difficult times, Ms Medhurst said she was shortening the opening hours of Just Books in Lakes Entrance and Bairnsdale.
“Our aim is to stay open as long as we can,” Ms Medhurst said.

Just Books will offer a free home delivery service to those people who don’t want to leave their homes and visit the bookstore.

“There’s only so much television you can watch,” Ms Medhurt said, indicating a book was a good alternative choice for those unaccustomed with reading.

Seven Sundays is hoping its online store will see them through the coronavirus and bulletproof its survival.

“We’ve gone through the bushfires, we’ll survive,” Patsy Waites said confidently.

Premier Andrews has foreshadowed there could be further closures if people don’t practice appropriate social distancing of 1.5 metres to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

IMAGE: Headlines Unisex Hair Salon in Bairnsdale was extremely busy on Monday morning with the ongoing coronavirus crisis prompting many women to bring forward their appointments. Staff maintained the required 1.5m distance from each other. K264-5549