Jobs go as pubs, Oberon RSL Club adjust to new restrictions

COUNTING THE COST: Oberon RSL Club manager Peter Price says closures will have a devastating effect on Oberon's economy.
COUNTING THE COST: Oberon RSL Club manager Peter Price says closures will have a devastating effect on Oberon's economy.

THE Oberon RSL Club and the town and district's hotels are scrambling to restructure their businesses after the latest coronavirus restrictions kicked in.

"Non-essential" businesses were told to close from midday on Monday as part of stage one of a lockdown across the state.

Pubs and clubs, entertainment venues, indoor sport venues and places of worship have been forced to close, while restaurants and cafes are restricted to providing takeout only.

On Monday, Oberon RSL Club manager Peter Price said he was devastated when he closed the doors and told his 25-plus staff that there was no work for them.

"This means there's no sport at the club such as squash, indoor bowls or karate," he said.

"The regulars who attend bingo will be disappointed. For some, it's their only social activity."

After a board meeting on Tuesday, however, Mr Price said the decision had been made for the club to sell and home deliver takeaway alcohol and food and "more details will be announced soon".

Royal Hotel manager Amber O'Bernier said the hotel closed from noon on Monday, but "we will still have the bottle shop and kitchen open with restricted hours at this stage".

Ms O'Bernier said that's about 20 staff members who will have no work.

Laura White from the O'Connell Hotel said the situation is bleak.

"We are quickly restructuring our business model. The kitchen will be open with a full menu but takeaway only, and we will be selling takeaway alcohol," she said.

"Staff have been informed. We hire a lot of local juniors in the kitchen/dining area and they are out of work with no other opportunities available to them."

Oberon Council has cancelled its Field to Forest Festival and Oberon Garden Club has postponed its Winter Botanica Festival scheduled for July.

Jenolan Caves has closed its cave tours, hotel, restaurant and cafe until further notice to help control the spread of the virus.

Kim Arnott from the Long Arm Farm Cafe said as from Thursday (today), they will only be doing takeaways.

"I will try to keep as many staff working as possible, but this situation could change next week and we may have to shut the doors."