Hospitality — food and beverage services sector guidance

Sector guidance for hospitality (food and beverage) businesses within Victoria.

The information on this page is not being updated during lockdown. For information on the current restrictions go to How we work: Current restrictions.

This page has information for all hospitality businesses, including: 

  • cafes and restaurants
  • pubs
  • bars
  • nightclubs
  • RSLs.

Frequently asked questions 

Last updated: 25 June 2021

Read below for answers to frequently asked questions by businesses within the hospitality sector.

What are the current face mask requirements?

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

Face masks continue to be mandatory in some locations, unless a lawful reason not to wear one applies.

For a full list of settings where masks continue to be mandatory, see: Face masks.


  • A business with an existing liquor licence that currently does not permit the supply of liquor in a public outdoor area must first apply to their local council for approval to use any outdoor spaces identified for outdoor dining. Council approval is required for the liquor licensing approval application.

    The licensed business must then provide the written permission from their local council to use public outdoor areas that are not currently authorised under the licensee’s existing permanent liquor licence to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR). This should be provided as part of their application for a Temporary Limited Licence to allow for the outdoor service of alcohol. Please refer to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) website for further information regarding eligibility requirements and the application.

    The VCGLR has implemented a streamlined process to ensure licensed venues can be swiftly provided with a Temporary Limited Licence. The VCGLR will endeavour to process applications within three days. This will help to fast-track businesses’ ability to offer outdoor dining.

    For more information, eligibility requirements and to begin an application, visit the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation website. 

  • No. If you hold a general or late night (general) liquor licence, you do not need to apply for a Temporary Limited Licence. You can already supply liquor in outdoor areas (for example, footpaths or kerbside areas) under your existing licence. All use of outdoor areas is subject to you complying with the council’s local laws and/or planning requirements.

    For more information, visit the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation website. 

  • Businesses that don’t have a liquor licence can still operate outdoor dining if they have local council approval to operate an outdoor dining area. Liquor must not be supplied. A liquor licence issued by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation is required to supply liquor.

  • Venues may continue to use their cutlery, crockery and beverage containers with appropriate hygiene, cleaning and disinfection processes in place.

    Disposable serving ware is not required.

  • The number of condiments available on tables should be minimised where possible. Where they are offered, they must be cleaned and disinfected after each group of patrons. This includes items like sugar, salt, pepper, water jugs, reusable cups and glasses. 

  • Menus should be either laminated and disinfected after each use, or single-use paper menus disposed of after each use. General non-contact signage can also be used to display menus, or you can ask patrons to visit the menu online.

    Takeaway menus should be placed outside the venue.


  • Yes, businesses can accept reusable cups. 

    Businesses are under no obligation to accept dirty cups and must follow other COVIDSafe principles such as practising good hygiene.

  • Yes. The ‘contactless pour’ technique means that the only person to touch the reusable cup is the person who brought it into the cafe.

    The contactless pour technique involves:

    1. customers placing their clean reusable cup onto the counter or tray without the lid
    2. the beverage being made in an in-house vessel and poured into the customer’s cup without touching it
    3. the customer placing the lid on their reusable cup.
  • ‘Swap and go’ schemes for reusable containers or packaging can be used with appropriate hygiene, cleaning and sanitation processes in place. Returned containers must be cleaned prior to reuse.

    • Shisha smoking is not recommended in the context of COVID-19 due to the risk to lung health and risk of transmission of COVID-19. 
    • If shisha is served, waterpipes cannot be shared, regardless of whether the person is part of the same group at a table. Each person must be provided with an individual disposable mouthpiece. Waterpipe equipment, including the water jar, must be thoroughly washed and cleaned appropriately after each smoking session. 

    For more information see cleaning and disinfection requirements.

Reviewed 22 July 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support

The Business Victoria hotline provides information on restrictions and support to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15

Contact Business Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have COVID-19 call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

Was this page helpful?