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Supporting local businesses to reopen and rebound

Clare and Aileen open doors to the Visitor Information Centre.

The Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre will open over the long weekend, and every weekend in June.

Wednesday 3 June 2020

Local accommodation operators and attractions can now welcome back visitors following the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions in Victoria, with the Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre set to reopen for the long weekend in June.

Visitors to our region are able to stay overnight with their friends and relatives, as part of the staged reactivation of the tourism sector by the Victorian Government. Restaurants, cafes and other hospitality businesses are also able to resume dine-in services from June.

In the regular tourism environment, 48 percent of visitors to our region fall into the visiting friends and relatives segment. It is anticipated that we will see increased visitation for the initial reopening period, as people are keen to see their loved ones as the restrictions ease.

The reopening of businesses and amenities requires that operators comply with strict rules and guidelines relating to density, social distancing and hygiene to ensure a safe experience for visitors, staff and the local community. Regular cleaning of facilities will also continue.

“The recent changes to restrictions to open up dining options, markets, cultural activities and personal services will see more people out and about in our townships in the coming weeks,” said Mayor Christine Henderson, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“We welcome people back and look forward to seeing more of our local businesses start to reopen. Council is assisting businesses to adhere to government guidelines for public safety and help them manage their re-opening, understanding that many will choose a cautious path out of lockdown.”

“We will also be continuing to inform community members and visitors about the guidelines, ensuring that they stay safe and take care of themselves and others by being responsible for their actions,” said Mayor Henderson.

To help operators navigate through the guidelines, local businesses are invited to a Rebound Zoom session hosted by Council’s Economic Development, Visitor Services and Environmental Health teams tomorrow from 4.00pm to 5.00pm on Wednesday 3 June.

The session will talk businesses through how to re-open safely and seamlessly whilst complying with the Department of Health and Human Services Department guidelines. To register to attend this session, please email marketing@mountalexander.vic.gov.au.

More Rebound Zoom sessions will be hosted over the coming months to keep in close communication and share ideas as an industry.

To help support business recovery and more visitors to the region, Council will reopen the Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre in the Historic Market Building on Saturday 6 June.

The centre will open for the three days during the upcoming Queen’s Birthday long weekend from 9.00am to 5.00pm to offer information about the shire to visitors. It will then ease back into full operations, starting with weekends only throughout June.

“The re-introduction of volunteers to the operation of our two Visitor Information Centres will be staged to protect their safety, with many in the more vulnerable age range,” said Mayor Henderson.

“The Maldon Visitor Information Centre relies heavily on its volunteers, so we will stage the reopening in a more gradual manner.

“Local hospitality businesses are hoping for a smooth reopening where the economic benefits are balanced with safety to help reduce a potential COVID-19 outbreak.

“We wish them all the best, knowing they have been through a very challenging time lately.”

For more information on coronavirus and the new stay safe directions visit
www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus or the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.

Visitors can still contact the Visitor Information Centres on 1800 171 888 between 9.00am to 5.00pm, seven days a week, for assistance, or visit www.maldoncastlemaine.com.au.

Image: Coordinator of the Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre (VIC) Clare Hutchison and Acting Communication and Customer Services Manager Aileen Walsh open the doors of the VIC.

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