Cafes and restaurants are set to slowly reopen over the next few weeks with some states easing COVID-19 restrictions sooner than others.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday a three-step plan to relax restrictions by July.
National baseline rules will be relaxed in a staggered rollback, with less risky activities such as dining at cafes and restaurants to be restarted sooner than others.
However state government will decide when it is appropriate for eateries to reopen.
People living in Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia, will be allowed to head out to brunch a lot sooner than those living in Victoria and New South Wales.
Cafes and restaurants are set to slowly reopen over the next few weeks with some states easing restrictions sooner than others
People living in Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia, will be allowed to head out to brunch a lot sooner than other states like Victoria and New South Wales
The Sunshine State announced dining at restaurants, pubs, clubs, RSLs and cafes will resume on May 16.
Although it is good news for food lovers, diners will be limited to 10 people at any one time.
Though the limit will be raised for outback dining with the maximum capacity set at 20.
‘The [outback] mayors have been onto me and I have to acknowledge that this is a different situation to the rest of Queensland because there are no quarantine cases,’ Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
Ms Palaszczuk noted the reopening would pave the way to job renewal and slowly repair a devastated hospitality industry.
‘There are thousands of people working in those industries and people and businesses want certainty, so this gradual return to some form of normality in our post-COVID world would look a bit different but we will back each other and get through this together,’ she said.
The Northern Territory proved it was ahead of the pack and eased stage one restrictions at the start of May – this allowed limited outdoor activities.
The state frontrunner has now set its sights on lifting stage two restrictions next week.
Restaurants, bars, clubs, cafes and pubs will finally reopen their doors on May 15.
That also includes consuming food or drinks in a shopping centre food court.
With the reopening comes certain conditions such as a two hour time limit for patrons and 1.5metre social distancing.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner encouraged patrons to help revitalise the state’s economy.
‘Territorians have [a] responsibility to get out, buy local, back a local, and do it safely,’ he said.
‘They need you to buy from them, so a meal and a parmy, a beer and a parmy, that’s the order.’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday a three-step plan to relax restrictions by July
Only restaurants and cafes with outdoor dining will reopen from May 11.
Alcohol will not be served to patrons and a cap of 10 people will be set in the venues.
A limit of one person per four square metre restriction will also remain in place.
South Australian premier Steven Marshall noted the state would be pushing for stage two rollbacks as soon as possible.
‘Many [cafes and restaurants] have had outdoor tables and chairs which they’ve had to lock up, we’re allowing this in the first instance,’ he said.
‘I think it will be a welcome increase to allow patrons to sit at outdoor dining.
‘I can’t imagine people will be satisfied with this for too long, that’s why we’ve already started discussions with industries and in particular, pubs and clubs, for [stage] two so we can get them up and running.’
Tasmania will begin to ease restrictions on eateries from May 18.
Pubs, clubs, hotels, restaurants and RSLs will open their doors to the public, though with similar restrictions to other states.
A cap will be set at 10 people, social distancing will be enforced and only table service will be provided.
‘This is a sector of our community that has been hit hard,’ Premier Peter Gutwein said.
‘We will continue to march to the beat of our own drum here in Tasmania.
‘If we find we can’t move on something based on Public Health advice, then we won’t.
‘Through all those three stages, I would encourage vulnerable people with underlying health conditions to limit their exposure to other people and stay home where they can.’
The Sunshine state announced dining at restaurants, pubs, clubs, RSLs and cafes will resume on May 15 (stock image)
National baseline rules will be relaxed in a staggered rollback, with less risky activities such as dining at cafes and restaurants to be restarted sooner than others
Western Australia has taken a slower approach as cafes are still only allowed to serve takeaway to its customers.
Food courts and food vans are also limited to takeaway services.
Though Premier Mark McGowan will provide an update on easing restrictions on Sunday.
Australian Capital Territory
The Australian Capital Territory has not yet indicated when restaurants will resume operations.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr suggested any changes would be made in line with neighbouring states Victoria and New South Wales.
‘Were we to reopen bars and restaurants, but they remained closed in NSW, then we would get quite an influx of people into the territory and that would lead to an increased risk,’ Mr Barr said in the past.
Concessions have been made on gatherings, with groups of up to 10 people allowed to meet indoors.
Though Mr Barr has warned this is no excuse to throw a party.
‘The easing of restrictions on gatherings is not, it is absolutely not, a licence for people from multiple households to have a party,’ he said.
‘No house parties. If people do that, they will undermine all that we have achieved as a community over the last several months.’
The new ‘roadmap’ – which will be reviewed every three weeks – will only guide state and territory leaders, who will then decide when to implement each stage in their own jurisdictions
New South Wales will not relax any coronavirus restrictions until next week, Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured Friday) said
No announcement has yet been made as to when eateries will reopen.
Victorians will have to wait until Monday when Premier Daniel Andrew is expected to give more details.
‘I know, I know that everyone would love to be back at the pub, or at a cafe, or at a restaurant … I get it, I understand it,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘We’ve come too far to let everything back because we’re frustrated,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘I think Victorians will stick with these rules, as challenging as they are, as frustrating as they can be, because they know they’re working.
‘When I have more to say about cafes and restaurants, about gatherings, inside and outside, when I have more to say about all the elements of that top line in that three-stage framework, I will do that. And that process will begin on Monday.’
New South Wales
People in New South Wales will also have to find other ways to pass the time with no announcements made on lifting restrictions further.
Following the national cabinet announcement on Friday, premier Gladys Berejiklian released a statement to provide further details about the restrictions.
‘The NSW Government has already eased a number of restrictions listed under the first stage of the plan.
‘As I stated earlier this week – there will be no further change to restrictions in NSW this week.
‘NSW will continue to keep our citizens updated on our path forward.’