Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that cafés in metro Melbourne will be allowed to reopen and resume sit-down and table service from 2 November.
Cafés, restaurants, bars, and pubs will allowed to host one person for every four square metres and will be limited to 10 people per indoor space, with a maximum of 20 people indoors.
Outdoors seating will be capped at one person per two square metres, with a maximum of 50 patrons. Groups of up to 10 are allowed, as long as they are seated 1.5 metres from other groups.
Hospitality businesses in regional Victoria have already been allowed to host up to 40 customers indoors and up to 70 outdoors.
The announcement was part of many easings of COVID-19 restrictions the Premier announced on 18 October.
“I understand that for some these changes won’t be enough. They’ll want more – and they’ll want it sooner. But the whole way through this, we have been guided by our public health experts and their advice,” Premier Andrews said.
“None of us ever want to do this again. We have come too far – sacrificed too much – to give up now. We are so close. These are the safe, steady steps that will see us out of this – and see us through to the other side.”
However, he added that the possibility of opening sooner is still on the cards.
“This is a timeline that is based on the current advice of our public health team,” Premier Andrews said.
“But if we continue to track well on the most important indicators – case averages, mystery cases, test numbers and the number of days people wait before they get tested – we may be in a position to move sooner.
“There’s been plenty said about how challenging 2020 has been. And it’s true. This year has asked more of us – taken more from us – than any year, ever. But 2020 has also proven, without doubt, the incredible courage of Victorians. We have found it in ourselves to stay the course. And as a state – millions strong – we are defeating this virus.”