Victoria to reopen its pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants in weeks

Premier Daniel Andrews has today confirmed that the state will allow pubs and other eateries to reopen their doors in just a matter of weeks.

From June 1, cafes, restaurants and the dining sections of pubs will each be allowed to host a maximum of 20 patrons at a time.

“Just three weeks later, from 22 June, those patron limits will go up to 50, and in mid-July… we would look to move to 100 patrons per enclosed space,” Premier Andrews explained.

He also stressed that strict social distancing guidelines would remain in place, including 1.5 metre spacing, rigorous cleaning and a screening of staff to prevent symptomatic workers infecting customers.

On Wednesday, restrictions were relaxed to allow Victorians to have five visitors in their homes and for outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people.

But restaurants and cafes are currently still only allowed to provide takeaway, with no dining in permitted unlike other states including NSW that are now allowing venues to hope for a maximum of 10 people.

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Bars in Melbourne could reopen in weeks. Picture: Alex CoppelSource:News Corp Australia

NSW recorded just three new cases of COVID-19 as pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars reopen amid an easing of coronavirus restrictions.

The three cases were detected from 9000 tests in the 24 hours to Friday night, taking the state’s total to 3074. Six people were in intensive care.

Over the weekend people have ventured back to their local eateries, pubs and bars, with dining venues able to take up to 10 patrons if they maintain social distancing.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Joe Cassar said police would continue to work with venues as patrons return to their local haunts.

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A group of mates enjoyed a beer at Soy Restaurant in Bondi Beach, Sydney on Friday when restrictions eased. Picture: AAP/James Gourley

A group of mates enjoyed a beer at Soy Restaurant in Bondi Beach, Sydney on Friday when restrictions eased. Picture: AAP/James GourleySource:AAP

He said rain in Sydney on Friday night impacted the number of people seeking tables, making 10-person limits and distancing requirements easier to implement.

“We’ve got early feedback from our police on the ground there’s an acceptance conditions have been relaxed and there’s been compliance with the new conditions,” Mr Cassar told reporters on Saturday.

“We’re in a very positive situation with low numbers being recorded and just ask members of the community to continue to comply with those conditions.”

Under eased restrictions, outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are now permitted and up to five people, including children, can visit another NSW household.

Religious gatherings and places of worship can welcome up to 10 people, and 10 guests are also allowed at weddings, 20 at indoor funerals and 30 at outdoor funerals from Friday.

Outdoor equipment including gyms and playgrounds can be used with caution, with people encouraged to wipe down equipment, while outdoor pools are open with restrictions.

NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty on Saturday warned the virus was still “bubbling underneath the surface” and urged people to get tested if they had any symptoms at all.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard it was important to remember COVID-19 was still “extremely dangerous”, with vigilance needed.


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