Venues across Australia are now allowed dine-in customers (with limitations) except for Victoria, which will follow suit from June 1, so it’s essential to understand your reopening obligations with a state-by-state guide.
State governments have a number of different health and safety rules in place which businesses are required to follow, with some requiring operators to submit a COVID-safe plan to demonstrate compliance.
Whether or not it’s a formal requirement, it’s important to have a plan in place to ensure the safety of staff and customers in your business and the wider community.
With regulations differing from state to state, it can be confusing to know what your legal obligations are. Here is a comprehensive list of current requirements by state/territory.
Restaurants and cafes can reopen from Monday, June 1 with official guidelines set for release on May 25. Police will conduct spot checks to ensure compliance.
New South Wales
Recommendations from SafeWork NSW include completing a risk assessment, cleaning and disinfecting, workforce screening, personal protective equipment and managing customer aggression.
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT Government has provided a checklist for businesses to complete and keep on hand which includes how to calculate the number of people you can have on their premises, ensure physical distancing is maintained, manage staff and customer illness and implement cleaning, sanitising and hygiene activities.
A hard or digital copy must be produced if requested by a relevant compliance or enforcement officer.
Businesses must complete and display the COVID Safe Checklist at each venue if providing dine-in services. Relevant enforcement officers may check compliance with the list (which covers the wellbeing of staff, physical distancing, record keeping, hygiene and cleaning and deliveries, contractors and visitors attending the premises) at any time.
Operators need to complete an online checklist for each location before they can reopen to demonstrate their understanding of the government’s guidelines. Businesses need to be able to show how they will meet physical distancing and hygiene requirements set out in the guidelines.
Businesses need to complete a COVID Safety Plan and all hospitality workers need to undertake COVID-19 hygiene training. COVID Safety Guidelines outline the mandatory requirements for venues opening for dine-in services. After a COVID Safety Plan for food businesses is completed, a COVID Safety Certificate should be displayed.
Indoor table service is still prohibited in South Australia and alcohol cannot be consumed on premises. However, the government has requirements for businesses offering outdoor dining including social distancing, use of shared equipment, hygiene, disinfection and signage
Businesses need to develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan before reopening. Once the plan, which needs to demonstrate compliance with the Minimum Standards (Work Health and Safety Amendment Regulations 2020) is in place, businesses can register for COVID-safe window stickers and posters. Consult WorkSafe Tasmania’s COVID Safe Workplace Guidelines for the Hospitality Industry for help developing a plan.