The Club Hotel Motel Roma.
The Club Hotel Motel Roma.

Why Roma’s publicans support electronic COVID sign-ins

Queensland venues have been forced to adopt electronic sign-ins after a positive COVID case travelled to the Glen Hotel in Eight Mile Plains, and visitors provided illegible details.

But publicans in the remote country town of Roma have embraced this change and believe it will be easier for guests to enter with the new electronic method.

Club Hotel owner Felicity Waldron said while there would always be people resisting such a change due to privacy concerns, anyone who refused to sign in would be denied entry.

"We do understand it from their point of view, but we just have to do it regardless of what their concerns are," Mrs Waldron said.

"It's fairly easy to use.

"From what I understand, we only provide that data if we have a COVID case, and in no other time we actually use [the data]."

People without access to a mobile phone can still sign in with the Club's tablets provided.

Mrs Waldron doesn't believe the end of COVID will come in 2021, and she is embracing changes to the business model and adapting the venue to the new normal.

They will hold events like Superbowl and Australia Day celebrations so that locals and tourists alike can feel like they're part of activities that would be provided in the cities.

"What we're trying to do is give people an experience where they can have a special occasion," Mrs Waldron said.

"They haven't really had it in this town before."

With strong turnouts over the New Year period, especially during the Roaring 20s event, it came to show that a lot of people stayed local and attended Roma's venues instead of travelling outside of town.

Commonwealth Hotel and White Bull Tavern owner Ben Cannon is enthusiastic about electronic sign in and believes it should have been compulsory since Day 1.

He said it makes the process much easier and streamlines the entry of people who have visited the venue before.

But he believes it should go a step further with supermarkets and stores requiring sign-in, and a centralised record like is kept in South Australia.

"It should be a state one," he said.

"This is going to be around for years to come, this is going to be a way of life for a long time."

The Comm and White Bull both have phones provided for anyone who does not have their own to sign in with.

Queens Arms Hotel venue manager Tracy Campbell said it's been a good change after people got used to the new system.

"We haven't seen too much change in business to be honest," Ms Campbell said.

This feedback form local businesses comes after several southwest Queensland pubs were fined for COVID breaches, including the Wallumbilla Hotel, which was given an infringement notice on June 30 after guests failed to sign in at 1pm on June 27.

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