Ask Braddon bar owner Joseph Beltrame what he thinks of the prime minister's call for a new social distance of four square metres and he shakes his head in disbelief.
To demonstrate, he called for a practical test.
"So you stand two metres over there and I'll be two metres over here and let's try to be even a little bit sociable," he said with a laugh.
"That [social distance] might be framed with the best of intentions but for someone who runs a small bar or restaurant, it's unworkable."
What's unclear from the prime minister's announcement is whether the bigger social distance is simply a guideline, or a suggestion, or sets a flag for future enforcement.
Braddon's Tipsy Bull has a maximum floor loading of 98 people inside and 101 outside but that's a theoretical number and well over the practical, comfortable application even in a non-pandemic environment.
"If we were to strictly apply that new distancing rule, we could only have 25 people inside - and that would have to include the staff," Mr Beltrame said.
"How ever would I set a table for six?"
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Mr Beltrame said he had already taken a number of measures to adjust his business to the new coronavirus guidelines with regular handwashing by his staff, cleaning of all tables and chairs after people vacate a table, and the liberal use of hand sanitiser.
He has removed a number of tables from the bar and restaurant to further ease the distance between dining patrons and is now trialling an online meal ordering system in an effort to generate more business.
"We're doing all we can to adapt to the new environment and try new ideas," he said.
"But this is the new business reality and what's scary is we don't know how long it will continue for."
Significant changes are being observed in customer behaviour, with people asking to sit outside a lot more and groups physically distancing themselves from others.
However, customers sitting outside enjoying lunch still shared the same reaction to the new guidelines: disbelief.
Small and medium businesses across Canberra have received greater support from the ACT government under the new arrangements announced by Chief Minister Andrew Barr on Friday, and Mr Beltrame said initiatives such as the waiving of liquor licencing fees for 12 months would present a saving to his business of $11,000.
A successful Canberra small business owner who previously had a busy Crust Pizza franchise and has owned the bar and restaurant for just over three years, Mr Beltrame said the onset of the coronavirus had seen a decline in his business trade of around 60 per cent.
We're doing all we can to adapt to the new environment and try new ideas.Tipsy Bull owner Joseph Beltrame
"The people I really feel sorry for are the staff," he said.
"I've had to have some very tough conversations with casual staff that have been terrific to work with."
He said on a normal Friday night, the Tipsy Bull would have over 20 staff. Now it's around half that.
"I'm a glass half-full kind of person, so I'm staying positive and whatever support we can get from the government, then that's great," he said.
"I figure if we can financially survive this, we can survive anything."
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