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Cafes and restaurants

Find information about how COVIDSafe Summer restrictions affect restaurants and cafes in Victoria.

What does this mean I can do? 

COVIDSafe Summer – restrictions apply from 11:59pm Sunday 6 December 2020 

  • The following restrictions apply in Victoria from 11:59pm on Sunday, 6 December:   Businesses can serve customers indoors and outdoors.
  • No group limits apply.
  • All venues and businesses must keep records of their visitors and customers. This is mandatory, no matter what density quotient is applied.
  • The total number of people who can attend a venue or business is determined by the size of the venue and the capacity based on density limits.
  • All facilities applying the two square metre rule must use electronic record keeping. The Victorian Government has a free QR code service available.
  • At venues that use paper-based records, the four square metre rule applies.
  • A venue that serves food and drink can host up to 25 patrons before density limits apply.
  • Restaurant and hospitality dance floors are now open. Venues must apply a four square metre rule to the dance floor, with a maximum of 50 people dancing at one time per dance area (such as in a nightclub with multiple dance floors).
  • There are no restrictions on travel between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne. Businesses in regional Victoria can serve people who live in metropolitan Melbourne.
  • If you own or manage a hospitality business, there are signs, posters and templates available to promote a COVIDSafe workplace and venue. You can find advice and more information by visiting Accommodation and food services sector guidance.

COVIDSafe Summer restrictions 

Victoria is currently in COVIDSafe Summer restrictions:  

  • Restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars and nightclubs can open for outdoor and indoor service of food or drink. Limits apply to the number of customers based on the size of the venue. This limit on customers for service is in place to ensure everyone can keep 1.5 metres distance.
  • There are no limits on the size of group you can dine with and sit in. If dining with people you don’t live with, there are extra things to do to stay safe. This includes staying home if you feel unwell and getting tested if you have any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. Maintain good hand hygiene and avoid physical contact and sharing food when you dine together.
  • Food courts remain open for indoor and outdoor dining, and must apply the two square metre rule. The limit on the number of people who can attend is determined by the size of the dining area.
  • Live music is allowed in bars, restaurants and cafes. Outdoor live music is recommended and if indoors, ensure the room is well ventilated. Fans, free standing or ceiling, are not recommended for enclosed indoor spaces. Where possible, increase the flow of outside air by opening windows. Other physical distancing requirements are in place. For advice and more information visit Entertainment and culture
  • f there is severe weather, then customers who are outdoors can shelter indoors. While sheltering indoors you must wear a fitted face mask and physically distance as far as possible from others, then leave the indoor area as soon as the weather allows. 

What actions do I need to take when while dining out? 

Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Before you dine out 

  • If you feel unwell you should stay at home. If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you should get tested and wait at home for the result. 
  • Don’t forget your face mask, you must carry a face mask at all times when you leave the home. 

While you are out 

  • All restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars and nightclubs have to apply density limits to the number of customers allowed in their venue. This might mean you have to wait for a table. Consider booking ahead of time. 
  • The restaurant or cafe requires you to provide your contact details (name and mobile number) if you are spending more than 15 minutes at their venue to help with contact tracing. Every cafe and restaurant must do this
  • Wash your hands when you arrive at the restaurant or café before you sit down to eat. 
  • Don’t share cutlery, plates or glasses.  
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.

When you get home 

  • Wash your hands when you get home. 

Can food and drink businesses in Victoria open? 

Food and drink businesses, including restaurants and cafes, can open for seated or standing service of food or drinks and takeaway. 

Restrictions apply to businesses including: 

  • There are no limits on the size of group you can dine with and sit in. 
  • If you are dining in or having seated service or remaining more than 15 minutes, then businesses must record your details for contact tracing. 
  • Businesses can serve customers indoors or outdoors.  A food and drink facility can host up to 25 patrons before density limits apply. The facility can apply the two square metre rule if using electronic record keeping. If using paper-based records, the four square metre rule applies. This means the limit on the number of people who can attend is determined by the size of the venue. Smaller venues can seat a smaller number of customers.  
  • To keep their staff and customers safe, cleaning, signage and record keeping requirements apply.
  • Workplace canteens and cafes can open for staff and members of the public however they must apply the restrictions for cafes and restaurants including the square metre rule. You can find advice and more information by visiting Accommodation and food services sector guidance. If you own or manage a hospitality business you can find advice and more information by visiting  Accommodation and food services sector guidance

Can pubs, bars, nightclubs and hotels open? 

Pubs, bars, nightclubs and hotels in Victoria can open for seated and standing service of food or drinks. 

Restrictions apply to businesses including: 

  • There are no limits on the size of group you can dine with, sit or stand in. 
  • You can order a drink without needing to order food. 
  • If you are dining in, having seated service or staying longer than 15 minutes, then businesses must record your details (name and mobile number) for contact tracing. 
  • A venue can host up to 25 patrons before density limits apply.  
  • The venue can apply the two square metre rule if using electronic record keeping. If using paper-based records, the four square metre rule applies. This means the limit on the number of people who can attend is determined by the size of the venue. Dining can be indoors or outdoors. Smaller venues can seat a smaller number of customers.  
  • Dance floors are now open. Venues must apply a four square metre rule to the dance floor, with a maximum of 50 people dancing at one time per dance area.
  • Tables must be cleaned after every customer. 
  • Nightclubs can now open for dancing and non-seated service, with a maximum of 50 dancers at one time, per dance area and subject to the four square metre rule. 
  • To keep staff and customers safe businesses need to follow cleaning, signage and record keeping requirements. 
  • If you own or manage a hospitality business, you can find advice and more information by visiting Accommodation and food services sector guidance. 

Can I go to a karaoke bar? 

Yes. Karaoke bars are open. A karaoke bar is required to apply the four square metre rule. This limit on the number of people who can attend is determined by the size of the venue. Smaller venues can seat a smaller number of customers.

Dance floors are now open. Venues must apply a four square metre rule to the dance floor, with a maximum of 50 people dancing at one time per dance area (such as in a nightclub with multiple dance floors).

To keep staff and customers safe businesses need to follow cleaningsignage and record keeping requirements.  

If you own or manage a hospitality business you can find advice and more information by visiting  Accommodation and food services sector guidance.  

Can food courts open? 

Food courts remain open for indoor and outdoor dining. The dining facility must apply the two square metre rule. This means the limit on the number of people who can attend is determined by the size of the venue.  

Tables must be cleaned after every customer. 

To keep staff and customers safe businesses need to follow cleaningsignage and record keeping requirements.  

If you own or manage a hospitality business you can find advice and more information by visiting  Accommodation and food services sector guidance

Checking addresses for dine in service 

There are no restrictions on travel between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne. Businesses in regional Victoria can serve people who live in metropolitan Melbourne. There is no requirement to check ID or addresses, or to refuse service to people from metropolitan Melbourne.

What about cellar doors at wineries? What restrictions apply?  

Victoria’s winery restaurants and cafes can resume dine-in and standing service, so long as they are meeting the requirements outlined by the Chief Health Officer including patron limits, physical distancing, signage and hygiene.  

If you own or manage a hospitality business, visit  Accommodation and food services sector guidance for more information.   

Can I order home-delivered food?  

Yes, you can continue to have food home delivered. There are some actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe when having food delivered:  

  • Avoid allowing the delivery person to enter your home. Keep at least 1.5 metres distance when paying and taking delivery of your meal. Try to use contactless payment or prepay online if possible.  
  • If you live in an apartment with a security entrance, avoid allowing delivery people to enter the building. Pick up your delivery from the front of the building instead. This minimises the risk to any older or vulnerable people who may share the common areas of the property.  

What about RSLs, bowls clubs and other multi-purpose venues?  

Dine-in and standing service areas in RSLs, bowls clubs and other venues in Victoria can open in line with the restrictions for restaurants and cafes.  

Restrictions apply to businesses including:  

  • There are no limits on the size of group you can dine with and sit in.  
  • You can order a drink without needing to order food.   
  • If you are dining in, having seated service or staying for more than 15 minutes, then businesses must record your details (name and mobile number) for contact tracing.    
  • Venues can serve customers indoors and outdoors. The venue can apply the two square metre rule if using electronic record keeping.  If using paper-based records, the four square metre rule applies. This means the limit on the number of people who can attend is determined by the size of the venue. Smaller venues can seat a smaller number of customers. 
  • Tables must be cleaned after every customer.   
  • To keep staff and customers safe businesses need to follow cleaningsignage and record keeping requirements.
  • If you own or manage a hospitality business you can find advice and more information by visiting Accommodation and food services sector guidance.  

Face masks  

Do I need to wear a face mask when dining out?  

You must always carry a face mask with you when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to.

It is strongly recommended you wear one whenever you cannot keep 1.5 metres distance from others.

Reviewed 17 January 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

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