Starting Monday October 19, the state of Victoria will ease its 100-day COVID-19 restrictions. This is welcome news for Victoria’s food companies facing severe restrictions and the resulting financial hardship. While the changes in restrictions don’t mean business as usual for food companies, the relaxation of restrictions means that things are moving in the right direction.
The eased restrictions mean that restaurants in the Victoria area are now allowed to have 70 customers outside as long as they continue to enforce the density requirement of one person per 2 square meters.
For indoor dining, local Victoria restaurants can now have 40 indoor diners; before they could only have 20 customers. Individual bookings are still limited to 10 people and spacing measures must be observed to keep each group 1.5 meters apart. The rule for no more than one person per 4 square meters remains in place. Food courts are currently limited to take-away meals.
Food companies still need to ensure that customers are from the Victoria area. This is to ensure that only residents eat in the facility and the spread of COVID-19 is prevented.
In Melbourne, food businesses such as restaurants, cafes and pubs are still subject to strict COVID-19 restrictions. The “ring of steel” that is currently around Melbourne will remain in place and restrict travel to and from the metropolitan area. Melbourne food companies will continue to only offer delivery and take-away options to customers for the time being. The goal is to keep the restrictions in place for a few more weeks to lower the COVID-19 cases in Melbourne and then relax the restrictions as in the rest of Victoria.