Blayney's pubs prepare for reopening after October 11

HERE'S CHEERS: Adrian Prosper enjoying a schooner with Linda Taylor in the Royal Hotel in Blayney. Photo: Mark Logan.
HERE'S CHEERS: Adrian Prosper enjoying a schooner with Linda Taylor in the Royal Hotel in Blayney. Photo: Mark Logan.

There's an old saying that you only miss something once it's gone, and it seems that Blayney's drinkers have really been missing their pubs.

"The support from the locals has been unreal," said the Tattersall Hotel's Cameron Cole. "As soon as we opened they were here enjoying a drink with a few friends."

The sentiment is the same at Blayney's two other watering holes The Royal Hotel and the Exchange Hotel where the manager Luke Davies said that the hotel recently had its biggest weekend in the two years he's been there.

We need to open up though because the benefits to our mental health of being able to socialise are really important.

Cameron Cole

"We had live music and so many of them were just wanting to meet friends and enjoy a beer in a schooner glass," he said.

"Everyone was just enjoying seeing each other in a social environment. It really means a lot to them."

The Royal's Damon Taylor said that although restrictions still existed in regards to numbers, the locals have been enjoying the return of one special part of the pub.

"There's a lot of people that are coming here just to go to the bistro," he said. "Although there's still a bit of caution regarding COVID and then there's the vaccination issue which is very hard."

The hoary question of checking the vaccination status of visitors is one that Gerry Hunter from the Royal Hotel in Carcoar is very wary of.

"Trading has been okay since we reopened, the locals were knocking down the door," she said.

"We're a bit worried about October 11 though and I wish they'd stop calling it Freedom Day because the locals are still very hesitant about having visitors into town, seeing as so many here are older.

The high levels of vaccination in the Blayney shire though, currently at over 95 per cent first dose, do give Ms Hunter some reassurances as to the welfare of her local clients.

""In some ways opening up could be a bit of a backward space, but we have ample space here in Carcoar so social distancing isn't an issue and as a town that depends on tourism we can't say no to any business," she said.

Cameron Cole said that the locals need to accept that as regions open up, there's bound to be a few mishaps in regards to outbreaks.

"We need to open up though because the benefits to our mental health of being able to socialise are really important.

"Everyone was sick of being at home and it didn't matter if you were 65, 21 or 18 years old, it's good for everyone's mental health to be able to come out," he said.

"There are a lot of older blokes where it was their only social interactions for the day or the week when they came out. It's good for everyone."

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