A WARRNAMBOOL hotel manager hopes a new rule requiring businesses to check customer IDs will keep COVID-19 out of regional Victoria.
The rule came into affect at midnight on Sunday and businesses that fail to check that customers are not from metropolitan Melbourne will face fines of close to $10,000.
Rafferty's Tavern general manager Mark McIlroy said staff had been recording people's postcodes and checking customers' ID since it re-opened in September.
"It's going to be business as usual for us but we welcome the change and hope that all businesses will do it because we want to keep it out," he said.
He said he hoped there would be a further easing of restrictions in regional Victoria.
"We're still running at on- fifth of operational (capacity) or even less," he said. "We're doing the best we can and we're having some good nights and great times and people are enjoying it.
"Hopefully we get some more restrictions eased on the weekend, I'm not expecting much, because he (Premier Daniel Andrews) doesn't give much. But I'm hoping we can open up a bit more inside, there's two-and-a-half thousand square metres where I can only use 20 seats."
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For Sharon Johnson, at Camperdown's Loaf and Lounge, the new rule meant she would have one staff member checking customer IDs.
"It will have some ramifications for us," she said.
She said on days when they were short staffed they wouldn't have seating outside.
The bakery has remained open throughout the pandemic and she said although it had been mentally and physically tiring it had provided stronger connections to the community.
"We've all heard the saddest stories, we've been the place where people have come and got coffee after they haven't been able to go to a funeral," she said.
"We've definitely built some real connections. All the staff have just kept going every single day. Some days it's us who feel a bit bleak and sometimes it's the customers. The push and pull has been great because we've kept encouraging each other."
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