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Victoria to open pubs and restaurants in two weeks after lockdown measures were widely criticised 

Victorians will be able to eat and drink inside restaurants, cafes and pubs again from the start of June, under an easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Such venues will be able to host up to 20 people in an enclosed space from June 1, Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday.

That number will increase to 50 from June 22, and to 100 during the second half of July.

But businesses will have to adhere to strict social distancing rules which include a staying 1.5metres apart and having four square metres of space per person.       

Pubs, cafes and restaurants in Victoria will be allowed to open their doors next month as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines of 20 people per enclosed space

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement on Sunday that hospitality establishments will reopen on Monday June 1

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement on Sunday that hospitality establishments will reopen on Monday June 1

Victoria has been the strictest Australian state, with the premier coming under fire for having people remain in isolation for Mother’s Day.

But the premier stressed social distancing measures – which are being hashed out with industry leaders – will have to be followed. 

‘It is a long and extensive set of rules,’ Mr Andrews said. 

‘Cleaning, 1.5metre spacing, a screening of staff to make sure they don’t have any symptoms.’

‘All of those protocols are being worked through the industry. All of those protocols, those rules, are critically important.’

‘This will only work if those who are going out to a cafe or going out for a meal at a restaurant or going to the bistro in a pub actually follow those rules, do the right thing, take these things seriously.’  

But businesses would have to adhere to strict social distancing rules which include a maximum of 20 people in at any one time and staying 1.5metres apart (Staff members of Notting Hill Pub clearing outdoor seating area when it closed at the start of the pandemic)

But businesses would have to adhere to strict social distancing rules which include a maximum of 20 people in at any one time and staying 1.5metres apart (Staff members of Notting Hill Pub clearing outdoor seating area when it closed at the start of the pandemic)

Victorian cafes and restaurants that have remained open during the coronavirus pandemic could only serve takeaways.

The development comes after another 50,000 tests were conducted in the past week, with the state government given confidence by the low rates of community transmission. 

Victoria recorded another seven COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the state’s total so far to 1561.

Two cases are linked to existing outbreaks, three were found in hotel quarantine and the other two cases are being investigated.  

Last week Victoria finally relaxed the coronavirus restrictions to allow recreational activities and home visits. 

A barman pours a customer a bottle of beer to take away at the Hero of Waterloo pub in The Rocks in Sydney on Saturday

A barman pours a customer a bottle of beer to take away at the Hero of Waterloo pub in The Rocks in Sydney on Saturday

From 11.59pm on Tuesday, Victorians were allowed to invite five people into their homes and could gather in groups of ten outside for socialising and recreation.

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 7,037

New South Wales: 3,074

Victoria: 1,551

Queensland: 1,055

Western Australia: 554

South Australia: 439

Tasmania: 228

Australian Capital Territory: 107

Northern Territory: 29

TOTAL CASES: 7,037

RECOVERED: 6,363

DEAD: 98

Activities such as golf, hiking, fishing, walking, sunbathing and kicking a football around are once again allowed with social distancing.

The state also allowed professional sports teams to start training from Wednesday, paving the way for games to restart in the near future.

Premier Daniel Andrews also said schools in the state will be allowed to resume ‘soon’ – but a timeframe is still being decided.

Schools will begin returning back to normal from the last week of May and the AFLE season could be back by June 11.

When asked about relaxing pub lockdown laws last week Mr Andrews said: ‘We can’t get back on the beers yet’.

‘There will be a time for that and no one will enjoy making that announcement more than me, let me assure you of that. There might even be props involved,’ he told reporters.     

Tables and chairs in an empty bistro area is seen at the Notting Hill Pub on March 23 in Melbourne

Tables and chairs in an empty bistro area is seen at the Notting Hill Pub on March 23 in Melbourne

People in New South Wales and Queensland enjoyed relaxed restrictions over the weekend, with people flocking to restaurants and cafes to sit down for a feed.

Eateries and coffee houses in NSW opened their doors early to punters, though were only allowed to let ten people at a time inside with social distancing in place. 

In Sydney, locals braved a cold, wet morning to catch up with friends and family as cafes, restaurants and bars opened under the proviso they limit patrons to 10 at any one time.

People in Queensland also lapped up their first day of eased restrictions with many flocking to reopened restaurants and bars.

Bookings must be made to eat at the establishments and people still need to remain 1.5metres apart but can now dine out with family and friends.  

The three-step plan to relaxing lockdown in Australia

 STAGE 1

* Five visitors allowed at home

* Gatherings of up 10 in business and public places

* Work from home if it works for you and your employer

* Small restaurants, cafes and shopping open with max of 10 customers

* Home sales and in-person auctions resume

* Children back in classrooms

* Libraries, community centres, playgrounds and outdoor boot camps open

* Local and regional travel resume 

 STAGE 2

* Gatherings of 20 people in your home, business and public places

* Work from home if it works for you and your employer

* Gyms, beauty, cinemas, galleries and amusement parks open with COVID-safe plans 

* Organised community sport allowed

* Caravan and camping grounds reopen

* Some interstate travel

* States and territories may allow larger numbers in some circumstances

STAGE 3

* Gatherings of up to 100 people

* Return to workplaces

* Pubs, clubs, nightclubs, food courts, saunas and some gaming venues open

* All interstate travel resumes

* Consider cross-Tasman, Pacific island and international students travel

* States and territories may allow larger numbers in some circumstances 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk