Restaurants and cafes in Victoria will be able to reopen on Monday 1 June. Venues will be allowed a maximum seated occupancy of 20 people at a time and must adhere to physical distancing rules. 

The limit may increase to up to 50 patrons from 22 June, before jumping up to 100 people at a time in the second half of July. 

Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement on Sunday 17 May, stressing that timelines were subject to reappraisal at any time based on public health advice. 

Restaurants and bistros within pubs, hotels, bars, registered and licensed clubs, RSLs and community clubs will also be able to reopen. Other spaces within these venues, such as public bars and gaming rooms, will remain closed throughout June. Restrictions will also remain in place for food courts. 

Venues will need to adhere to the density requirement of one person per four square meters and tables will need to be spaced at least 1.5 meters apart. This means a 40-square-meter space can hold 10 diners at a time, so long as they have a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between groups. A 100-square-meter venue is still limited to 20 guests at a time for dine-in. 

The State government and public health team will continue to consult with the industry and unions to determine what work needs to be done around other areas of concern, including entrances, exits and bathrooms. 

Extra health and safety rule will be in place, including and staff health screening and temperature checks. Venues will be required to collect contact details of dine-in guests to assist with rapid contact tracing. 

“It is a long and extensive set of rules,” said Premier Andrews. “All of those protocols are being worked through with industry; all of those protocols are critically important. This will only work if those who are going out to a cafe, or going out for a meal at a restaurant, or going to a bistro in the pub, actually follow those rules.” 

The state’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton will review the rates of community transmission and confirm the ability to test, trace and respond to possible outbreaks before each stage is implemented. 

Image: The Australian

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