No change to hospitality trading in May

Published on 11 May 2020

Photo: by Georgia Haynes

Victorian cafes, restaurants, pubs and other venues remain under takeaway-only rules after today’s announcement by Premier Daniel Andrews on lifting some COVID-19 restrictions.

The announcement included a new rule allowing up to five visitors at home and groups of up to 10 people participating in outdoor activities from 11.59pm Tuesday 12 May. But Mr Andrews is steering clear of reopening hospitality businesses with limits of 10 customers in place.

“If we stick with this, come June we may not need to have restrictions of 10,” he said in a press conference today.

“We could take a bigger step, potentially, for cafes and restaurants.”

Today’s announcement followed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s unveiling on Friday of a three-stage plan to guide states on easing their lockdown restrictions. That included the option of reopening of cafes and restaurants under Stage 1, but with strict limits on social distancing and only 10 patrons allowed in venues.

Those restrictions are unviable for many businesses, a point to which Mr Andrews alluded discussing the situation in Victoria.

With Victoria’s current state of emergency expiring today, Mr Andrews’ plan has outlined what life will be like for Victorians between now and the end of May. That includes continuing to work from home if it’s possible and children remaining away from classrooms for the time being. Camping, overnight stays and booking hotels or Airbnbs are all off the cards.

The Premier said that Victoria will have “more and more options in June” if people continue to follow these steps. He will make another announcement before the current restrictions expire at midnight on Sunday 31 May on the next stage.

The main points from today’s announcement:

  • 5 guests allowed in private homes, with an emphasis that guests should be family and friends
  • 10 individuals participating in outdoor activity and gatherings (includes team sport)
  • No change to trading for restaurants, cafes and other venues
  • Remote learning still in place, however a staged plan for return to classrooms in term two is underway
  • Working from home encouraged wherever possible
  • Testing across Victoria will continue throughout May
  • These changes to restrictions come into effect 11.59pm Tuesday 12 May 2020

By Emma Breheny


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