When health authorities announced the snap three-day lockdown on Friday, plans at the Prince Consort Hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley were yet again thrown into disarray.
Hotel general manager Jason Hirt said it had functions booked in.
“DJs from interstate that had flown in to perform … staff had to be rescheduled — all of these things had to be cancelled or rebooked,” he said.
“It was crazy. The time and speed that it came out and the reaction time we had to adjust to things was very short. It felt like a bit of a kneejerk reaction.”
The heritage-listed venue usually hosts up to 1,000 people, but with another 10 days of restrictions ahead and a reduced capacity of 25 per cent, Mr Hirt said the pub was bracing for more tough times.
“One to four square metres inside? That’s going to be tough on numbers allowed in. And no dancing? … that’s certainly going to affect the venues in the valley massively,” he said.
“It’s extremely hard — people want to jiggle. They love the music, and for us, we have already cancelled our weekend entertainment because it is harder when you have them on to control these sort of situations.”
The dancing ban imposed under the three-day lockdown came just weeks after dancing was given the green light on December 14. It remains off the table for the next 10 days, aside from at weddings.
Mr Hirt said getting through the Christmas period had been extremely tough on many venues, particularly smaller ones.
“It’s going to be tough coming through this and if we’re reacting to things so quickly, it could be another tough six months going into winter as well,” he said.
“You’ve got to be ready to go with the wind and jump to the call. We want to keep open and keep trading so we just need to keep motivated as an industry and as a business.”