Gippsland hospitality and tourism hit hard in lockdown
Gippslanders are enjoying more freedom this morning after Victoria's statewide 'circuit-breaker' lockdown came to an end at midnight.
Most restrictions imposed last Friday have been lifted. The four reasons to leave home have been stripped, along with the five kilometre travel limit.
However not everything returns to the COVID-normal of last Friday. Visitors in the home have been reduced to five and masks are still on inside all public spaces, as well as outside where social distancing cannot take place.
Meanwhile, there are calls for small business operators to be compensated after being heavily impacted by the lockdown.
Tinamba Hotel owner, Simon Johnson, says the Valentine's Day weekend was a bad one to miss out on trade, but he is looking forward to reopening today.
"There was definitely a lot of waste.
"It would have been great to have a local body to be connected with that we could have donated some of that food to, so there's no food wastage.
"Unfortunately, being such a short time frame, there was thousands of dollars worth of food that went in the bin.
"It also has these other longer lingering affects, that people cancel their other upcoming bookings because they don't know what's going on.
"During the week, we've had people cancel their bookings for this weekend because they didn't know if they can or can't make it.
"We've reopened again but we're missing out on bookings because of the uncertainty these quick lockdowns have," Simon said.