BATHURST RSL Club is confident it can weather an extended closure and eventually re-open with all its existing staff.
The club was forced to close at 12pm on Monday after the NSW Government handed down restrictions on Sunday night for stage one of a lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus.
All pubs and clubs, entertainment venues, indoor sport facilities and places of worship had to shut down, while restaurants and cafés were permitted to continue operating with takeaway and home delivery services only.
Bathurst RSL general manager Peter Sargent was understandably dejected on Monday when he spoke to the Western Advocate about the closure, however he knew it was on the cards.
"I think this was inevitable. I think it was only a matter of time before they closed hospitality venues," he said.
"The most difficult thing is we don't know how long. We've had quite a few requests from people to offer takeaway, but for a whole variety of reasons we've decided not to operate like that. It's just not logistically possible."
Mr Sargent said he only wished businesses had more time to close or transition to alternate ways of operating.
"We were a little taken aback," he said.
"Obviously there is no good time, but more than 12 hours - actually, it was closer to 10 hours - would have been good.
"There is no business that can completely shut up in 10 hours."
Although the club itself is closed, it's coffee shop, The Grind, will remain open for takeaway and Mr Sargent said the club will continually review the situation.
"We will survive. We're a very strong club and we have the capacity to survive the closure," he said.
"... It has been a difficult day. I couldn't be more proud of the team we've built here and I look forward to bringing them all back."
Mr Sargent was cautious in talking about financial support for staff during the closure, but did say that staff with annual leave and long service leave would be able to utilise those entitlements.
In the wake of the closures of local businesses, people have been encouraged to support the ones that remain open while they can.
Bathurst Business Chamber president Catherine Fitzsimons said on Monday that people can utilise online services for local businesses where available or visit stores in a safe manner.
People are urged to keep following the guidance from health authorities, including to regularly wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, cancel all non-essential travel, self-isolate where possible and practice social distancing if they need to be out in public.
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