The hospitality industry has welcomed Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ announcement that regional Victoria will be able to move to step 3 of the roadmap from 11:59pm on Wednesday, September 16.
Under the changes, hospitality businesses will be able to serve patrons outdoors, with a cap of 50 seated patrons per venue, and an updated ‘two square metre’ density limit in place. Indoors, venues can open with a cap of 10 seated customers per space – with up to two spaces per venue – and in line with the existing ‘four square metre’ density rule.
Tables must be spaced at least 1.5m apart, cleaned after every customer and the details of all patrons must be kept. Businesses will be required to have a COVID Safe Plan in place to re-open and follow strict guidelines including record keeping requirements relating to customers dining in will also be in place.
Restaurant & Catering Australia CEO Wes Lambert said that while this is welcome news for regional Victorian businesses, more is needed to help businesses across Greater Melbourne.
“This is undoubtedly welcome news to the thousands of regional Victorian hospitality businesses who have been under strict lockdowns despite the fact that case numbers have been virtually at zero,” Mr Lambert said.
“This is the first step for these businesses in returning to some state of ‘normal’ by being able to host customers for dine-in.
“However, this accelerated timeline is now needed to better support businesses across Greater Melbourne, who will still be subject to strict lockdowns with no real end in sight until the end of November.”
“R&CA will continue to lobby the Andrews Government and the DHHS for indoor dining to be allowed under step 3 rather than outdoor only. While support for our sector is welcome, there is only one way to truly support our sector – and that is to get us open sooner.
“Allowing limited indoor dining earlier, as has been done today for Regional Victoria, will save thousands of businesses and tens of thousands of jobs across Melbourne.”