Bega Valley clubs forced to close doors; 'thoughts with employees'

Clubs throughout the Bega Valley have now closed their doors following the orders from the federal government for non-essential services to close.

Secretary manager at the Merimbula RSL Club Michael Mutsch said they would be holding a meeting with all staff on Wednesday.

Mr Mutsch thanked club members, visitors and staff for they way they had reacted to the changes at the club during the past weeks as the COVID-19 crisis escalated.

"Firstly we would like to commend everyone who has been coming to the club as the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation has evolved, and respecting our hygiene and social distancing rules. We would also like to commend our staff for the way they have stepped up to manage through these difficult times," Mr Mutsch said.

"We are waiting on further direction from ClubNSW about what services the club will be able to provide," Mr Mutsch said.

One of the options the club is currently investing is that of running the dining area as a takeaway service.

"It has to be viable and it has to be safe," Mr Mutsch said adding that if it could be done within the government's safety criteria and without risk to staff the club would go ahead.

At Club Sapphire CEO Damien Foley put out a statement to say that the club would seek further advice in relation to the outdoor activities of the Seaside Health Club and From Little Things urban farm.

From Little Things - the urban farm located in the grounds of Club Sapphire.

From Little Things - the urban farm located in the grounds of Club Sapphire.

"We will still be here when this virus passes and we look forward to offering the best facilities, best services and above all, the most welcoming and friendly staff when we are back in action," Mr Foley said.

"Stay safe and please look out for those most vulnerable members of our wonderful local community during this most difficult time," he urged.

On Monday, March 23, registered clubs in NSW were forced to close by order of the federal government. It is currently unknown when clubs will be permitted to re-open but the Prime Minister Scott Morrison has indicated that any actions are likely to be for six months at least and further steps - this was talked about as step 1 - could be implemented.

ClubsNSW said it was a devastating time for the state's club industry, its 3.5 million members, and the 63,000 people who rely on clubs to make a living.

The organisation said clubs across NSW are in the process of communicating with their employees on what the federal government's shutdown means for them.

"As is the case in the broader community, we expect many employees will be stood down for an extended period of time. Our thoughts are with them today," the organisation said.

"We encourage club members to look out for each other in the months ahead, albeit remotely. We are acutely aware that for many people, clubs provide them with their primary social outlet. Our message to club members and employees is - look after yourselves and if you need to talk to someone, call a family member or friend, or failing that contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. There are tough days ahead, but we will get through this, and when it's safe to do so, your local club will be there for you and the broader community - just as we've done for more than a century," ClubsNSW said.

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