Redlands pub and club patrons can access all areas once more as COVID-19 restrictions ease

BAR IS BACK: Cleveland and Victoria Point Sharks manager Mal Cochrane welcomed the easing of restrictions.
BAR IS BACK: Cleveland and Victoria Point Sharks manager Mal Cochrane welcomed the easing of restrictions.

AFTER months of COVID-19 closures, it's access-all-areas once more at pubs and clubs across the Redlands.

Venues were able to open their entire floor space, including gaming, from noon on Friday.

Patrons will now also be able to grab a drink at the bar.

Social distancing restrictions and hygiene measures will still be in place.

Cleveland and Victoria Point Sharks manager Mal Cochrane said he was pleased restrictions had eased.

"It's the first time we've been able to serve from a bar, which is very important," he said.

"(Previously) we had to go to the table and take the order (which was) very labour intensive. This is a lot easier for the customers and for us.

"We are deciding how many people we've got in the venue compared to our floor size."

Gaming rooms were also open from noon on Friday, with venues implementing increased social distancing and hygiene measures.

"There will be someone on every second machine (and) every time someone leaves a machine, we'll go over and clean it," Mr Cochrane said.

He said staff had been thrilled to welcome back members.

"Our members have been looking forward to having that social interaction and our staff are too - they love interacting with the customers."

Redlands RSL manager Peter Harrison said the club was happy about opening with some lifted restrictions.

"(We) can't wait until we get back to 100 per cent trading without restrictions."

Liquor and Gaming Commissioner Victoria Thomson said licensed venues being able to offer a full range of services again was an important milestone for Queensland to get back to normal, but urged people to remember this was a 'new' kind of normal.

She reminded people about the importance of reaching out for help if they were worried about gambling becoming a problem.

"The recommencement of in-venue gaming after a long shut-down is unique and unprecedented and licensees and patrons need to consider not only the health and hygiene rules but put measures in place to minimise the negative impacts of gambling," Ms Thomson said.

"The COVID-19 health crisis has understandably left many Queenslanders feeling extremely lonely and anxious. Individuals and families have also faced financial pressures, unemployment and isolation.

"While faced with these challenges, it's important to remember that gambling doesn't pay the bills and won't create the sense of belonging that comes from relationships and social connections.

"If gambling is more than a leisure activity for you, I urge you to contact the Gambling Helpline. It's a free and confidential service.

"I encourage Queenslanders to think about their gambling habits before, during and after lockdown ... If you have the urge to rush out to a venue and play the pokies, your gambling may be a problem."

If you or a friend or a family member need support, contact Gambling Help on 1800 858 858 or visit gamblinghelpqld.org.au.