The flash mob wedding on Airlie Beach foreshore captured by Debbie Savy from Tropix Photography.
The flash mob wedding on Airlie Beach foreshore captured by Debbie Savy from Tropix Photography.

Wedding businesses say ‘I do’ to eased restrictions

WEDDING bells are ringing across Mackay and Whitsundays after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk brought forward some aspects in the stage three easing of restrictions.

From July 3, private gatherings will increase from 20 people to 100 people for events like family gatherings, weddings and funerals.

Windmill Motel property manager Keith Thompson said it was "great news" for the Mackay wedding venue.

"Ninety per cent of the weddings booked this year with us were cancelled," Mr Thompson said.

"It has had a huge impact on our business.

"Now that this announcement has been made, I can start ringing some of those people who cancelled or postponed to see if we can squeeze them in before the end of the year."

Wedding photographer Debbie Savy, from Airlie Beach's Tropix Photography, said all of her wedding jobs from March to August had been postponed.

The Windmill Motel
The Windmill Motel

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Due to the impact of coronavirus, Tropix Photography was forced to close down its camera shop on the main street of Airlie Beach, which had been there for 36 years.

"It has been crushing business-wise," Ms Savy said.

"We handed the keys back today. It feels sad to finish a shop like that."

The business will continue to operate from a home office.

Ms Savy said she was hopeful yesterday's announcement would give people the confidence to plan their weddings.

"Any reassurance is wonderful," she said.

Mackay Tourism has also welcomed yesterday's announcement that Queensland will reopen its borders to visitors from all states, except Victoria, from July 10.

Mackay Tourism chief executive Tas Webber said tourism operators were excited to soon have interstate visitors, particularly coming up to the New South Wales school holidays.

"Mackay's tropical winter sun and incredible natural experiences are sure to prove a major drawcard for interstate visitors," he said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: David Kapernick.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: David Kapernick.

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"Mackay Tourism encourages all visitors to continue to follow all recommended health precautions and guidelines, and not to travel to Queensland if they have recently travelled to Victoria."

Stage 3 measures include allowing:

•Private gatherings of up from 20 to 100 people in homes

•Wedding attendance increases from 20 to 100 (and the reception size increases too);

•Contact indoor and outdoor community sport starts with an approved plan;

•More events, with events of more than 10,000 people requiring a COVID Safe Event Plan approved by the Chief Health Officer; and

•Additional venues such as casinos and food courts to reopen