Re-opening of restaurants and cafes Q&A

As we continue to effectively slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Victorian Government is announcing its plan for the gradual re-opening of cafes and restaurants to dine-in customers from 1 June.

 Under the proposed plan, restaurants and cafes will be able to resume:

  • From 1 June with up to 20 patrons per enclosed space
  • From 22 June with up to 50 patrons per enclosed space
  • With up to 100 patrons per enclosed space during the second half of July.

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. 

Additionally, venues will be required to take the contact details of every customer to assist in rapid contact tracing.

A number of other safety precautions will also be required, including extra cleaning and staff health screening.

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. 

To support hospitality businesses to prepare for reopening on 1 June, the Victorian Government will continue consulting with industry peak bodies and workers’ representatives to develop detailed guidelines on creating a coronavirus (COVID-19) safe plan for reopening. These Victorian Government hospitality COVID-19 guidelines are available here.

It’s imperative you implement a plan for your business. The continued easing of restrictions is dependent on Australia’s ability to keep the spread of COVID-19 under control — any of the relaxations introduced could be reversed if there is a spike in transmission rates. 

In the meantime, you can read the Q & A on Business Victoria's website https://www.business.vic.gov.au/disputes-disasters-and-succession-planning/coronavirus-covid-19/reopening-of-cafes-restaurants-and-other-food-and-drink-facilities-FAQs