"Let us open."
That is the call from the Macarthur/Southern Highlands division of the Australian Hotels Association, president Tom Porter.
Mr Porter, who also owns the Moss Vale Hotel, said publicans across the region were frustrated by the ongoing restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that while they accepted it was needed in the first instance, it was now time to allow pubs to open.
"Let us get trading - this is killing us," he said.
Mr Porter said he also felt for those patrons who lived alone and went to the pub for the social connections.
As far as Mr Porter was concerned the easing of restrictions allowing up to 10 people in a cafe or restaurant, due to come into force in NSW on May 15, would not be beneficial to pubs with a bistro.
"That would be fine in a small cafe, but it would be a waste of time for us to open the doors," he said.
"We would need at least four or five staff in the kitchen alone."
Mr Porter said that based on a condition of one person/four square metres he could accommodate up to 100 people, while meeting social distancing requirements.
"It would be worth my while to re-open if I could have 100 customers."
However, he said he was not confidant this would happen until at least mid-June.
"No-one really knows where things will go from here," he said.
In the meantime Mr Porter said he was busy doing some renovations.
"At least we are getting a few things done, but that only means there is money going out and nothing coming in," he said.
The one saving grace for Moss Vale Hotel is that its bottle shop has been able to continue operating throughout the restrictions.
Meanwhile, Mr Porter said AHA NSW continued to lobby state government for more easing of restrictions so the pubs could get back to business.
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