Following the Government’s announcement that New Zealand will be moving into Alert Level 2 on Wednesday 13th May at 11.50pm, the Restaurant Association of New Zealand has released guidelines for operating at Level 2.

The guidance is for all food and beverage businesses, including bars, and food trucks.

From 14th – 21st May 2020, initial measures put in place include:

  • Hospitality venues can only serve customers if they are there to dine. The Government have likened this interim situation to be somewhat like trading on ANZAC Day (without the 1pm start limitation). For clarification: In general, ANZAC Day is a restricted trading day for some businesses as it relates to the sale of alcohol and there are some restrictions. For restaurants, cafes and other ‘eat in’ food businesses with liquor licences your regular trading is usually unaffected, however after the Government announcement, there are now “Anzac style” restrictions that overlay the operations of all restaurants, cafes and pubs. Essentially as long as your customers are “on your premises for the purposes of dining” you are free to provide them with a drink to accompany their meal. The general rule to be noted here is that alcohol that is purchased must be consumed while dining, or finished shortly after dining is completed (within an hour according to the Act). While there is no strict definition on what constitutes “dining”, it would generally be considered that this would need to be a meal and not simply some snack food.
  • Customer groups should be no more than 10 people. A customer group cannot make 3 bookings of 10 as an example; the 10 people limit is to limit mingling between groups of more than 10, when it would be more difficult to manage physical distancing requirements.
  • Best efforts should be made to limit customers dining in to durations of approximately 2 hours.
  • From 21st May 2020, bars will be able to open without customers needing to be on the premises for dining.
  • The initial measures put in place will be reviewed on 29th May 2020.

Other measures have previously been announced regarding operating at Level 2, including maximum venue limits, physical distancing, and for the hospitality industry – the 3 “S’s”. Counter service has now been confirmed. Detailed information is in the guideline.

Download the Operating your Business at Level 2 guide here.

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