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February 4, 2021
In this issue
Vic re-introduces restrictions on gatherings
Homegrown travel game-changer
Latest global barometer released by UFI
Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley unveils multi-million-dollar transformation
Young gun – Lakisha Di Valentino

Vic re-introduces restrictions on gatherings
As of today, indoor mask rules and restrictions on private gatherings are back in Victoria, after an Australian Open hotel quarantine worker tested positive to Covid-19.
Premier Andrews announced the measures in a press conference last night, saying that masks are now mandatory indoors and private gatherings have been reduced from 30 to 15 people.
According to The New Daily, the worker visited various places in Melbourne’s south-east while potentially infectious in recent days – including a golf driving range, a Bunnings, two Kmarts and a cafe.
Hundreds of tennis players and their support staff have been told to isolate, and warm-up matches have been suspended while contact-tracers search for anyone the worker might have infected.
Homegrown travel game-changer
By Graeme Kemlo
Brisbane-based Ellume has just been awarded a $300 million AUD contract by the United States (US) government to supply 8.5 million rapid COVID home test kits. Under the deal with the Biden administration, Ellume will also establish a Maryland, US, manufacturing facility capable of supplying half a million rapid COVID test kits a day to the US.
Approved for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), It is being touted as a game changer that will verify a traveller’s status and also allow almost real time information on the location of infections.
Continue reading here. 
Latest global barometer released by UFI
By Joyce DiMascio
The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) has released its first full year study of the performance and outlook for the exhibition industry around the world.
The “UFI Global Exhibition Barometer” survey was conducted in December 2020 and represents the most up-to-date information from around the world including Australia and Asia Pacific.
450 companies participated for the second time in a row. The reach of this barometer is unprecedented according to UFI. It covers vastly expanded insights into 24 markets and six regions.
In response to the critical question - If there is no business for the next six months, what will happen? – 11 per cent of Australian respondents said they will close down and 64 per cent said they will just keep their head above water but will survive.
This data was submitted prior to the Avalon cluster and the Christmas border closures – since then business confidence the Australian sector has been further hit with industry calling for more certainty around border closures, international travel and the vaccine roll-out.
Questions related to this survey can be addressed to Christian Druart, UFI Research Manager, at research@ufi.org. This research is available online here. 
Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley unveils multi-million-dollar transformation
This month Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley revealed a first look into its multi-million-dollar transformation, which includes 75 new, modern, light-filled guest rooms.
Drawing inspiration from the surrounding region, the resort and spa's guest rooms pay homage to its historic roots with archways and natural timber finishes for a heritage-inspired look.
The team says that the full transformation will include updates to its range of indoor and outdoor function spaces.
“From what was once a modest regional conferencing venue, Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valleys’ re-imagination of what makes regional conferencing desirable now raises the bar to new heights with a refurbished product that fits seamlessly into its breathtaking property,” they said.
Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley will also boast three onsite dining outlets: its signature offering Harvest Restaurant; Gazebo Restaurant; and Harvest Bar. The fourth and final stage of the 105-room hotel trasnformation is scheduled to be completed by April this year.
Young gun – Lakisha Di Valentino
Thinking of picking up an inspirational book to perk yourself up during Covid?
We suggest reading our interview with Lakisha Di Valentino, marketing assistant for Diversified Communications Australia, instead.
She may be young, but Lakisha sure knows how to string together words of wisdom when it comes to retaining morale, believing in yourself and grabbing opportunities by the horns.
Read our latest young gun interview here. 
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