PUBS in Warrnambool say the easing of restrictions will allow them to be more hospitable to patrons.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday that density limits in pubs, restaurants and cafes will shift to one person per two square metres for both indoors and outdoors with no other cap. The use of electronic record keeping - a QR code - will be mandatory.
In a statement Mr Andrews said dancefloors will be able to host up to 50 people, with a density of one person per four square metres. The new rules will also see no requirement for seated service.
"The same rules will apply to nightclubs," he said.
Seanchai Irish Pub owner Matt McMahon said the changes will allow the pub to double their numbers of patrons.
"Essentially we'll double our capacity," he said.
"It looks like we might even be able to get some dancing happening."
Mr McMahon said it had been awkward to ask customers to stop dancing in the past few weeks.
"We're sick of telling people to not move and dance," he said.
The popular Irish pub was closed for five months during the lockdowns and Mr McMahon said it had been a challenging year.
"It has been a bleak year," he said.
"Obviously most of the bills kept rolling in. It has certainly been a tough five months."
Mr McMahon said the changes would be welcomed by all of the city's hospitality businesses.
Flying Horse Bar and Brewery managing director Matt Monk said the pub had gotten back to some normality in recent weeks.
"The flow and pace has definitely returned," he said.
"When it was more controlled and contrived it was more stressful for staff."
Mr Monk said given the hotel was a large venue the easing of restrictions would allow them to accomodate more people.
"We're a big venue and we'll be able to seat more people and give them a feed which is great," he said.
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Laneway Bar proprietor Patrick O'Brien said Sunday's announcement would allow the popular summer event to go ahead this year.
"Pretty much since mid-year, things were really not looking good at all and I was pretty sure we wouldn't be able to go ahead," he said.
"(Sunday's) announcement was really our last hope of opening up.
"I'm stoked. I am really over the moon."
Mr O'Brien said he hoped to open the bar this Friday, if not the following week. He said it would be "business as usual", with acoustic musicians on Friday evenings, followed by disco and dance music throughout the night.
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