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Outdoor dining at Northern Ground Cafe, Bairnsdale

Limited dining returns

Limited dining returns

Outdoor dining at Northern Ground Cafe, Bairnsdale

A step towards hospitality and tourism

Gippsland will move to step three of the State Government's road map out of Covid restrictions at midnight tonight.

Premier Daniel Andrews has commended regional Victorians on their efforts to stop the spread.

Gippslanders will no longer need a reason to leave their homes. Hospitality and tourism within the regions returns, and household bubbles of up to five people will be allowed.

Mask wearing and physical distancing rules will still apply.

The state government's outdoor eating and entertainment package offers up to $5,000 to help cafes adapt to predominantly outdoor dining.

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Rob Taylor from Bairnsdale's Northern Ground Cafe said he is working with East Gippsland Shire Council to access the funding.

"For the front pavement, some work to be done out there possibly if the Shire could support that.

"Out the back we're looking at various things. We're looking at a laneway project to mirror things that happen in Melbourne which would also be great should we get the funding for that," Rob said.

Patrons will be limited to group limits of 10 and numbers capped at 20 indoors and 50 outdoors.

For some operators, like Kylie Tabone at Bairnsdale's Grand Terminus Hotel, those numbers aren't viable.

"It's not really a commercially viable option for us. The costs outweigh any kind of profitability.

"In saying that though, we are going to open, really just for the good of the community and to keep our staff employed.

"But it's not helpful from a commercial perspective, Kylie said.

The Opposition said that regional areas taking another step towards Covid normal puts us further out of step with Melbourne. They said businesses and communities will be relying on the government to step up enforcement of our borders with the suburbs so that that the regions can have confidence in recovery.

For more information visit: www.vic.gov.au/third-step-coronavirus-road-to-recovery

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