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Victorian Cafes, Restaurants, Pubs and Clubs Will Be Allowed to Reopen from June 1

Parmas and pints are back on the table.
By Sarah Ward
May 17, 2020
By Sarah Ward
May 17, 2020

Having a parma and a pint at your local — and just having a meal out of the house in general — will be a reality once again come Monday, June 1, with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews revealing that cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs will be able to reopen to dine-in customers — with some restrictions.

Last Monday, the first stage of eased restrictions for the state were announced, which came into place from midnight on Tuesday — and includes five visitors allowed inside a house, and gatherings of ten outside. But, until now, Victoria's move out of lockdown hasn't extended to reopening the hospitality industry.

Today, Sunday, May 17, however, the Premier revealed that cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs can reopen to dine-in customers when June hits — with 20 patrons allowed indoors at once. The move only applies to food service, which means pubs and clubs can only reopen their dining areas.

So, you won't be able to walk up to the bartender and order a jug, but you will be able to sit down and have a pint or two alongside your meal. Bars and gaming facilities in general will remain closed — including standalone bars — and so will food courts.

The June 1 change will be followed by the further easing of patron limits in stages. From June 22, 50 people will be allowed in each establishment. Then, come mid-July — with a specific date yet to be revealed — 100 people will be allowed inside.

These second and third stages are contingent on low COVID-19 cases numbers, low community transmission and high test rates, with the current plans set to be reviewed in the lead-up to each date. "The timelines we're announcing today are reliant on Victorians continuing to get tested when they show even mild symptoms and on those tests continuing to show low numbers of positive cases around the state," the Premier advised.

Venues and patrons will still be required to abide by social distancing requirements — including spacing tables 1.5 metres apart, and maintaining a strict distance of one customer per four square metres. Cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs will also need to take names and contact details for every customer, for contact tracing purposes. And, there'll be extra cleaning, staff health screening and temperature check measures as well.

In his statement, the Premier noted that further work will be needed in the coming weeks to explore options for managing shared areas such as entrances and bathrooms.

The Victorian changes are a result of the state "smashing through our goal of 50,000 tests in the last week", the Premier advised, which has given the state "the confidence we need to plan to slowly start lifting some more restrictions".

For more information about Victoria's eased hospitality restrictions, read the Premier's statement.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

Top image: Julia Sansone.

Published on May 17, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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