Just as restrictions were set to ease, the Victorian Government announced further changes were off the cards.

Venues were gearing up to host 50 diners from 22 June, however the number will remain at 20 for the next three weeks.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews released a statement on Saturday, explaining the reasons behind the changes.

“We’ve come to a critical crossroads … Today, our case numbers have hit the highest they’ve been in more than two months,” reads the statement.

“Restaurants, pubs … – will all stay at a maximum of 20 people in any one space until 12 July.

“I know this is not where we wanted to be. And that Victorians will feel disappointed and frustrated.

“I know businesses are keen to open further – which is why we’ve all got to play our part.”

Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar & Grill in Melbourne has remained closed over the past few months, and was working towards seating 50 customers from 22 June.

Perry took to Instagram to confirm the restaurant would still push ahead with opening plans.

“We are still opening on Monday,” said the chef. “Our reservations team will be working really hard over the weekend and next week to ensure that we contact everyone who has booked.”

Dan Hunter’s Brae found itself in the same position, however, the venue planned to seat a total of 20 diners.

“We didn’t want to push it and even with the expected 50 we have kept bookings to 20 max in the room,” Hunter told Good Food.

While numbers will remain capped at 20, licensed venues are now able to sell alcohol without meals, which is a promising step.

Across the country, it’s a very different story.

Western Australia will move into Phase 4 of the state’s roadmap from Saturday 27 June.

Existing gathering limits and the 100/300 rule will be removed. Gathering limits will only be determined by the 2sqm rule, which will include staff only at venues that hold more than 500 patrons.

Customers will no longer need to be seated to receive service at food businesses and licensed premises and venues are not required to take a register of patrons.

Alcohol can also be served as part of unseated service arrangements and unseated performances at venues including bars, pubs and nightclubs will be permitted.

“WA is still the only State without the problematic four square metre rule, and now we go even further by removing most of our remaining restrictions in Phase 4,” said WA Premier Mark McGowan.

Pending the success of Phase 4, Stage 5 is set to be introduced on 18 July which will see the removal of the 2sqm rule.

Image credit: Traveller

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