Cautious reopening for guest house

Accommodation sites can reopen in the Macedon Ranges. Pictured is Cherie Goodson owns a B&B, cafe and gallery at The Old Railway Station Lancefield (Damjan Janevski) 215830_01

By Jessica Micallef

Cherie Goodson says it’s a “welcome relief” to host guests at her Lancefield B&B.

Macedon Ranges accommodation providers can now reopen to regional Victorians under the third step to a “covid normal” life.

Ms Goodson owns a B&B at The Old Railway Station, Lancefield and says she hasn’t had a guest there since March.

“That was our choice because my concern was the virus itself and the transportation of the virus here, there and everywhere,” she said.

“We just didn’t know where it [the virus] was coming from and we didn’t know much about it.

“Everything was the great unknown.”

When the first lockdown ended and restrictions were eased for a short period of time, Ms Goodson said she had a “flurry” of guests booking accommodation.

However, she was forced to cancel bookings again before stage three and four restrictions were implemented across the state.

“It had a huge financial impact,” she said.

“Much of our accommodation guests are coming to attend functions such as weddings so we rely a lot on the fact that people are booking in for those special events.

“We have been providing accommodation for 21 years and we have ridden all sorts of storms, but this is the first time in 21 years we have been hit very hard.”

Now that Ms Goodson can reopen her B&B to guests, she says she is opening with caution and is reducing the amount of people allowed to stay at the one time.

“We have three suites, which is about six people but we have chosen to have only four people at the one time,” she said.

“We know that we can distance them very well because they can have full accommodation in two suites without having to even pass each other in the passage way.

“But it is a welcome relief for us and for every other accommodation provider in regional Victoria.”

Jessica Micallef