Cafes and restaurants won't reopen for 10 people in Victoria


Cafes and restaurants reopened today in South Australia with a limit of 10 patrons.

In New South Wales, the same will occur on Friday and Queensland will follow on Saturday.

But in Victoria, beyond takeaway, they will remain shut for the rest of May.

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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the small limit was not viable. Picture: iStockSource:istock

“My thinking here is that if we wait these three weeks, when we move to open, go beyond just takeaway for cafes, we might not have to stick with the number of 10,” Mr Andrews said this morning.

“We might be able to go higher. I won’t speculate on what that number is.

“I think the feedback from many businesses is that at just 10 patrons, it’s hard to be viable.

“If we wait three weeks, if we do the testing, have that further assurance, that the significant steps we took today isn’t causing us trouble that we can’t manage, then I think we can take a bigger step potentially in June for cafes and restaurants and get them to a point where they are viable.”

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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. Picture: James Ross/AAP

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. Picture: James Ross/AAPSource:AAP

He said the “business model” for the venues had changed and expected takeaway to be a feature “for a long time”.

“If we can supplement and complement that with table service at more than 10, there’s every chance for a more viable model,” Mr Andrews said.

“That’s our thinking. Assume the rules don’t change any time in the next three weeks and we will have more to say in full detail once we get to the point where we make decisions for June.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday announced a three-step plan to reopen the country’s economy and society.

“Some states don’t want to open cafes and restaurants initially because they feel that their situation, they would prefer to take some time,” chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy said at the time.

Today, Mr Andrews announced while cafes and restaurants would remain closed, Victorians could have five guests in their home from Wednesday.

Mr Andrews said “they should be family and friends”.

It’s the “fifth reason” for which people can leave their homes across the state.

The other four are to shop for food and other necessary goods and services, access medical services or provide caregiving, attend work or education that can’t be done from home, and exercise.

“On work, I would ask and encourage people, if you can work from home, you must work from home for the rest of May,” Mr Andrews said.

Seven new cases of COVID-19 were announced in Victoria on Monday – one connected to the Cedar Meats abattoir cluster, four from overseas travel and two still under investigation.

A total of 161,000 people have been tested in the past fortnight and 141,000 of those have been analysed.

“There are 30 cases that we simply didn’t know about before those tests were conducted,” Mr Andrews said.

Victorian chief health officer Dr Brett Sutton said there are “still at very low levels of community transmission”.

“I know we’ve discovered 30 new cases, and in a sense that seems like a lot compared to the previous few weeks where numbers had been down quite significantly, but those cases would have been there regardless of our testing,” he said.

“What we’ve done is found them, ended transmission or we will end transmission and identified a lot more about where to focus our attention and about the importance of enabling testing ongoing.”





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