It is a challenge every day for the Wimmera's pubs, but they will survive with the support of the community.
That's according to Grant Fiedler, the publican at Horsham's Royal Hotel.
It follows the Australian Hotels Association saying Victorian hotels and pubs would "bleed further with debt" and "faced going over the cliff", with the state government indefinitely extending the ban on anything other than takeaway trade.
Sit down meals can return when regional Victoria meets certain coronavirus criteria, including that the average number of new cases across Victoria over the previous 14 days are fewer than five per day.
Meals will be predominantly outdoor with a group limit of 10.
Mr Fiedler said he had expected to reopen this coming Sunday, September 13, before last weekend's roadmaps were revealed.
He now has kegs of beer he can't sell. Mr Fiedler said he was in talks with Carlton and United Breweries to see whether he can return the kegs.
"The community has been very supportive during this time with takeaway meals and drinks. I know that support will continue, and because of that, we won't go under," he said.
"Every day is a challenge, so the support minimises those challenges. My insurance payments haven't changed at all since COVID."
Mr Fieldler said he would like to see the government treat regional areas differently, with regards to restrictions relaxing, based on the number of active cases in their communities.
In Edenhope, Lake Wallace Hotel co-owner Di Collyer said a gradual easing of restrictions was a better outcome than being forced to repeatedly open and shut.
"When we shut down the first time that was OK, but the second time caused headaches because we'd started getting stock again," she said.
"We had $2000 worth of kegs in the cellar we couldn't sell because we couldn't have anyone here. So every time we open and close it has a worse effect. We're actually in favor of the roadmap: If he keeps us closed for longer we would prefer that, if it means we can be confident we can stay open when we do open again."
Mrs Collyer said she and her husband Mick hadn't made money for most of the year, and that meals, which pubs and cafes are still allowed to serve by takeaway, only made up 10 per cent of their normal income.
She said the pub had not been the social hub patrons had been expecting when it had opened in July.
"It was quite hard in country towns compared to cities, because people come in here to find out what's happening," she said.
"We were only allowed 20 people in the bar, they had to be seated and could not go over to another table to talk to people, so the atmosphere wasn't the same."
Mrs Collyer is also a registered nurse, and has started working more shifts at Edenhope District Memorial Hospital.
"I'm kind of subsidising the pub with my wage," she said. "Other businesses in town might be more affected than we are."
"Talking to people, they are fed up with being in this lockdown. I can relate to it, but I'm a healthcare worker too: We don't want to open up too soon and have our hospitals inundated with hundreds of people."
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