“There’s no way around it”

“There’s no way around it”

Riverton Bar and Grill owner Nat Graham-Helwig says any further restriction will hurt his business. Photograph - Richard Polden.

As WA prepares to open up to the rest of Australia and the world on February 5, not everyone is on board with Premier Mark McGowan’s plan.

At his press conference on Monday January 10, Mr McGowan indicated that proof of vaccination may be required at a range of businesses, including cafes and pubs.

The restrictions introduced due to the backpacker infection required proof of vaccination to be shown at venues with a capacity of over 500 customers, such as the Gosnells Hotel, smaller venues like the Riverton Bar and Grill did not have that requirement.

Riverton Bar and Grill owner Nat Graham-Helwig said that any new restrictions would simply cost his business money.

“From a business point of view, more restrictions means less money,” he said.

“A lot of people were happy that they didn’t have to show proof of vaccination when those recent restrictions were introduced.

“I don’t want to have to pay a full-time staff member to be sitting at the door checking vaccine passports.

“We’re open 80 hours a week and to pay someone 25 buck an hour to stand at the door, that’s a fair bit of money. “

Mr Graham-Helwig said business had already suffered due to lockdowns.

“We have about 10 to 15 calls a morning asking if our customers need to show proof of vaccination so if more restrictions are introduced, that’s probably 15 customers a day we’re missing out on.

“It’ll have an impact.

“There’s no way around it.

“We’ve had to get rid of good staff that have been working here since we opened because of restrictions so it’s just been a nightmare, to be honest.

“It’s hard enough to get staff already.

“I’d be happy if they kept the borders closed.”