The Victorian and New South Wales governments have announced further easing of café restrictions imposed during COVID-19.
From 11:59pm on 21 June, Victorian cafés and restaurants will be able to increase their number of patrons to 50.
Libraries, community centres and halls, religious ceremonies, pubs and clubs, cinemas, concert venues, theatres and auditoriums, galleries, museums, and amusement parks will be allowed the same limit.
Venues offering sit-in or table service will still need to collect contact details.
“In recent weeks we’ve laid out our state’s careful plan for the gradual easing of restrictions. A cautious and considered approach that has relied on data to help guide our decisions,” says Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews in an official statement.
“Today, because of the progress we’ve made – and the evidence base we’ve built – I can confirm those proposed changes will go ahead. It also means we’re able to bring forward a number of other changes too.”
In NSW, from 1 July, the number of people allowed inside cafés and other indoor venues will be determined by the ‘one person per four square metre’ rule, with no upper limit.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says NSW was able to further ease restrictions due to the limited community transmission of COVID-19.
“The community has worked incredibly hard over the past few months which has allowed us to be where we are today,” Ms Berejiklian says.
“However, we can’t let our guard down. People need to come forward for testing with the mildest of symptoms and practise good hand hygiene and social distancing.”
Rules relating to table service differ from state to state. The ‘one person per four square metre’ rule applies in every state and territory except Western Australia.
Queensland currently allows 20 patrons at a time, with that number increased to 50 for locals at outback cafés. From 10 July, up to 100 people will be allowed to dine in.
The South Australian Governments allows up to 20 customers per room, and 80 customers in large hospitality venues that can accommodate that number.
In Western Australia, up to 300 people are allowed in one venue, as long as there is no mare than 100 people in one undivided space. The ‘one person per four square metre’ rule has been reduced to two square metres.
Tasmania is allowing for 40 seated customers at a time.
The Northern Territory is allowing all businesses with a COVID plan to open. A food business must complete and submit to the Department of Health a COVID-19 safety plan checklist before reopening or expanding to seated patrons.
The Australian Capital Territory is allowing up to 100 patrons per indoor or outdoor space in a café or restaurant.
Each state and territory is expected to introduce similar rules to NSW’s ‘one person per four square metre’ rule in July.