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Little Creatures says it will temporarily close its venues. Photo: Little Creatures (LinkedIn)

Entertainment venues hit by new rules

A growing number of hospitality venues are either closing or revising their operations, after the federal government announced the ban of all non-essential gatherings of 100-plus people.

The ban is effective immediately and will include religious services.

Outdoor gatherings of 500 people or more were banned on the weekend as the government tries to curb the spread of the disease.

Airports and public transport facilities including stations, platforms and stops are considered essential.

Medical and health services and emergency service facilities are exempt from the ban, along with disability and aged care centres, which are subject to other restrictions.

Supermarkets, food markets, grocery shops, retail outlets and shopping centres will be allowed to remain open.

Parliaments, jails, courts, factories, construction sites, mines will also be able to continue normal operations.

Major hubs like the Bourke Street Mall and Federation Square in Melbourne and Sydney's Martin Place are also considered essential.

Schools will remain open, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison pointing to Singapore as an example.

"In Singapore they have been quite effective in managing and limiting the transmission of this virus in that country," Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

Chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said children had recorded very few instances of severe cases of coronavirus.

"We believe very strongly that it's in the best interests of our children and the nation at this time to keep schools open," he said.

Mr Morrison praised employers who had ensured employees were working from home during the pandemic.

Today, Little Creatures Brewery announced it would be temporarily closing.

"As our hospitality venues are located within our breweries, we have to close them for the time being so our precious brewers can continue to brew our great beers," Little Creatures said on social media.

Also closing its doors include Coconut Grove tavern in Northbridge and Tiger Lils bar in Perth.

The Court Hotel also said it would temporarily close, but later announced on social media it would instead change the way it operates to “suit the guidelines given”.

“We want to be clear that this is not about making money, this is about keeping some of our staff employed,” the hotel said on social media.

Must Winebar general manager Russell Blaikie said he had implemented a range of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including having space between tables, access to hand sanitiser, sanitising each table and asking people to go cashless.

However, he said while the winebar still had loyal customers, fewer people were going out.

“We have seen dwindling booking numbers at Must Winebar, and in particular, a large number of cancellation for private functions,” Mr Blaikie told Business News.

To ensure he can still sell food, he is starting a call-and-collect model, where people can order meals from the restaurant to pick up and eat at home, and talking to his suppliers about providing packs of produce that can be collected.

He is also calling on the state government to assist small businesses with interest-free loans as other states have done.

“The Western Australian government needs to upgrade the support for small business, with the provision of a no-interest loan to assist business with cashflow issues across this period similar to the model which has been used in Tasmania with the hospitality and fishing industries,” Mr Blaikie said.

“Let’s say you are a caterer, and you’ve got 20 weddings and every single one of those weddings has been cancelled which we are seeing that right across the industry, then you are going from cash flow this to zero.

“The only way you can be supported through that is either by having a very large bank balance in reserve or by obtaining cash via your bank, who may be reluctant to loan in these circumstances, or by introducing an interest free loan.”

The Aviary in Perth has also implemented social distancing measures. It will limit the number of guests to a maximum 100 people.

Included in the following lists: