HORSHAM'S publicans are welcoming a further easing of COVID-19 restrictions due to take effect on March 26.
Exchange Hotel owner and Australian Hotel Association Wimmera representative Nick Murray said while there are no changes in density limits, it was a step in the right direction.
"I think businesses that have live entertainment will benefit, and that will benefit the whole town. It simply hasn't been worth putting on live entertainment with the no dancing rule," Mr Murray said.
"It is certainly going to benefit those venues that have live entertainment capabilities, and we'll start seeing local bands popping up around the place which is good for people social and mental wellbeing. Also the muscians around the place haven't been able to play."
Under the new rules, the 50 person cap on dance floors has been removed.
Gaming venues and nightclubs can open with a density quotient of one person per two square metres.
Mr Murray said the easing of restrictions would help the region's hospitality venues get back on track.
"From a broad point of view, things are certainly heading in the right direction. We only hope that the new COVID normal is going to be that situations arise now and again but we don't see huge over reactions like we have in the past," he said.
"I think if the government keeps an even keel and a measured response to those flair ups, I think we are moving in the right direction.
"We really need the community support to be able to bounce back, because we are a year behind basically. Its a call to arms for the community to get in and visit your local."
Bull and Mouth owner Simon Mitchell added while the changes were welcome, the venue was still effectively kept at 50 per cent capacity due to density limitations.
Mr Mitchell said the post-COVID flare-up of interstate tourism had been a silver lining for the industry, with business going well coming off the back of lockdown.
"People travelling around Victoria is just insane. It is fantastic," he said.
"Our Tuesday to Thursday, 50 per cent of our trade is all tourism, so that has been the greatest aspect of it."
Alongside the changes to nightlife venues, masks will no longer be mandatory in retail businesses.
Larger crowds will also be allowed at major sporting events.
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