"Bewilderment, anger and frustration", was the verdict of the association representing hotels, bars and restaurants in Canberra on the new plan for emerging from the pandemic.
"It's awful. It's unviable," Australian Hotels Association ACT general manager Anthony Brierley said.
"The effect is that hospitality businesses aren't going to open up viably until late November or in early December. That's what we said to the government every day for six weeks, and that's what they told us they understood.
"There won't be a single member of the ACT cabinet who thinks it's viable."
Under the new rules, from October 15, bars, cafes and restaurants can have no more than 25 people seated indoors and 50 outdoors.
From October 29, the limit rises to 100 people indoors or 150 outdoors.
In both cases, the maximum is allowed only if each customer is given four square metres. Smaller venues will be below the maximum.
Mr Brierley said those conditions were harsher than any since May last year which was in the early stages of the pandemic and before vaccines arrived.
"Half way through October, we are going to have 300,000 double-vaxxed Canberrans so why the need for such tight restrictions?" he wondered.
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Gym owners were also unhappy about the new rules, saying the relaxation should have gone further and earlier.
Confusion was the main complaint from the association representing gyms, dance and martial arts clubs.
Different rules will apply to each of them even though they are, in effect, the same, said Tom Adam, head of the association. He couldn't see why dance classes and fitness classes had different rules.
"It's such a confusing mess," he said.
"We would love it if we could have some advice which is clear and concise. Why can you have 100 people in a restaurant but only 20 in a gym?" he asked.
The Canberra Business Chamber welcomed the detail in the proposed road map. It meant that businesses could start planning their future, according to Graham Catt, the Chamber's chief executive.
His worry was for those businesses in hospitality, in particular, which would remain unviable for some time.
Mr Catt wanted the government to make clear quickly whether aid for those businesses would continue.
There was a warmer welcome for the easing of restrictions from the spiritual world than from the material one.
"They are welcome. They have given us a plan and a road map," Father Tony Percy, Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, said.
The permitted size of funerals and of the number of people allowed to take the usual daily masses will rise.
"It gives everyone a sense of hope," Father Percy said.
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