Restaurants, bars, cafes, pubs and clubs are facing a difficult future with Prime Minister Scott Morrison announcing new bans on non-essential gatherings.

Effective from today, the number of people has been capped at 100 for indoor areas and 500 for outdoor areas. Venues, including restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs are no longer able to open their doors unless they can keep numbers below 100. The limit is inclusive of both staff and patrons.

Each state will determine how the measures will be legally enforced.

Mr Morrison said all measures the government is ushering in are “scalable” and “sustainable” and that Australia is looking at six months or more of changes to daily life.

The Prime Minister confirmed there would be no two-week shutdown despite calls from the public, and said the government is focused on keeping Australians in jobs.

“Wherever possible, we need to keep Australians working,” said Mr Morrison. “This is a critical issue in ensuring Australia can keep functioning and keep delivering the important services necessary.”

States are currently working on new measures relating to indoor gatherings of less than 100 people, with details yet to be revealed.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has told reporters “Venues can still conduct their affairs, but will need to do it under different circumstances. They will have to limit their numbers.”

Premier Andrews added his government had been in touch with key stakeholders such as the Australian Hotels Association and Restaurant & Catering Australia to explain to them what measures were to be implemented and why, as well as to hear the hospitality industry’s perspective. With so many different businesses operating, he added a certain level of common sense would need to be applied, especially in the case food courts.

“It’s an issue of how far apart people are,” said Mr Andrews. “We’re happy to provide advice to venues that have questions.”

The Prime Minister also said the government will announce additional support for individuals and small businesses beyond the initial stimulus package. The Victorian Premier echoed the statement, adding his government was reviewing a range of options to help businesses, especially those that would have zero turnover during the ongoing crisis.

More details to come.

Image credit: ABC




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