Hospitality businesses in Melbourne will be restricted to takeaway and delivery operations until at least 26 October, with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews outlining the state’s roadmap to reopening on 6 September, reports Hospitality Business‘ Australian sister publication, hospitality magazine.

Metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria each have separate roadmaps, with “trigger points” for entering a new phase based on total active cases in the community. 

Metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria each have separate roadmaps, with “trigger points” for entering a new phase based on total active cases in the community.  

Subject to those trigger points and public health advice, metropolitan hospitality venues will begin reopening for dine-in service from 26 October. The reopening of regional venues for dine-in is dependent on active case numbers as well as the number of “mystery cases”, with no date specified. 

“There’s no point having those venues open, if we can’t allow customers to move around freely,” said Mr Andrews, addressing the continued restrictions for hospitality businesses. “We can’t do that. Each of these steps is less than we would like to do. We can’t run out of lockdown. We must take steady and safe steps to find a COVID normal and make sure that in opening up we can stay open.”

Metropolitan Melbourne 

The extension will see Stage 4 lockdown restrictions remain in place in metropolitan Melbourne until at least 28 September. 

While a number of minor changes will be made from 11.59pm on 13 September, restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars and clubs will continue to be limited to takeaway and delivery services. 

Changes to curfew conditions will mean the general public can travel beyond a 5km radius from their homes and remain out until 9pm, including to pick up takeaway. 

The industry in metropolitan Melbourne will undergo a staged reopening from 26 October, dependent on case numbers, with venues allowed to welcome dine-in guests in-line with density requirements. There will be a group limit of 10 and seated service will be predominantly outdoor. 

Regional Victoria

Regional Victoria, currently in Stage 3 restrictions, will move to the second step of reopening from 13 September, but hospitality venues will still be restricted to takeaway and delivery. 

A transition to the third step of reopening will occur when regional areas maintain less than five new cases on average over the last 14 day period and zero cases of unknown source in total over the last 14 day period.

Under this stage, venues in regional Victoria will be able to offer predominantly outdoor seating, subject to density requirements and group limits of 10. 

Metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria

Under the last step, flagged to occur from 23 November, venues across the state will be able to seat up to 50 patrons indoors, with outdoor dining to be subject to a density requirement. There will be a group limit of 20 people.

The move to this last step will only occur if there are no new cases for 14 days state-wide. 

Both regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will then move from the last step to a “COVID Normal” once there are no new cases statewide for 28 days, no active cases state-wide and no concerning outbreaks in other states and territories. 

The COVID Normal will see restrictions on hospitality businesses removed entirely, but with continued record-keeping for contact tracing. 

“Importantly, we want the whole of the state to be at COVID Normal by the end of the year — making sure family barbeques, summer holidays and a trip to the beach can all still happen,” said Premier Andrews. 

Further support for affected businesses will be announced in the coming days.  

More details about the reopening of hospitality businesses to come. 

At a Glance 

Metropolitan Melbourne

  • First step: Heavily restricted. Take away only.
  • Second step: Heavily restricted. Take away only.
  • Third step: Restricted. Predominantly outdoor dining with patron cap. Density quotient applies. Flagged from 26 October.
  • Last step: Restricted. Patron cap per space indoors. Density quotient applies outdoors, no patron cap. Flagged from 23 November.
  • COVID Normal: Open with a COVIDSafe Plan. No density quotient.

Regional Victoria

  • First step: Does not apply in regional Victoria
  • Second step: Heavily restricted. Take away only
  • Third step: Restricted. Predominantly outdoor dining with patron cap. Density quotient applies. Move to this step dependent on case numbers, no date flagged.
  • Last step: Restricted. Patron cap per space indoors. Density quotient applies outdoors, no patron cap. Flagged from 23 November.
  • COVID Normal: Open with a COVIDSafe Plan. Record keeping requirements. No density quotient.

Source: hospitality magazine.

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