vic_logo
coronavirus.vic.gov.au

Hospitality — food and beverage services sector guidance

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

Victoria to further relax COVIDSafe Settings

The Victorian Government has announced a further easing of COVIDSafe settings from Friday 28 May.

This includes lifting the one person per two square metre density quotient for small-to-medium sized venues.

From Friday 28 May 2021, it will be mandatory for customer-facing industries that require checking-in to use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service. The full list of industries can be found at Checking in with QR Codes

The Victorian Government QR Code Service is convenient for Victorians and gives contact tracers access to the best data quickly.

Venues and facilities currently using a Victorian Government Application Programming Interface (API) linked digital record keeping system must switch to the Victorian Government QR Service by Friday 28 May 2021. For instructions on how to switch, please go to Register to use the Victorian Government QR Code Service.

Read the media release.

 

This page has information for all hospitality businesses, including: 

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

Industry Restart Guidelines

Industry guidelines are being updated to reflect the further easing of COVIDSafe setting from Friday 28 May. This includes lifting the one person per two square metre density quotient for small-to-medium sized venues.

Read the media release.


Frequently asked questions - COVIDSafe Settings

Last updated: 21 April 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.

Hospitality

  • From 6:00pm on Friday 26 March 2021, electronic record keeping is mandatory in all hospitality venues, with the number of patrons permitted in the venue determined by its size in square metres. 

    For venues less than 50 square metres, up to 25 patrons are permitted in the venue. A density quotient does not apply.
    For venues greater than 50 square metres, the density quotient of one person per two square metres applies. 

    From 6.00pm on Friday 26 March 2021, electronic record keeping will be required in many settings. Where this applies, the free Victorian Government QR Code Service or a Victorian Government API (Application Programming Interface) linked digital system must be used. 

    Find out more information on the settings where electronic record keeping is required
    Find out more information on the Victorian Government API.

  • From 6.00pm on Friday 26 March 2021, there is no cap on the number of people permitted on a dancefloor. The density quotient relevant to the venue continues to apply.

    Electronic record keeping requirements apply to venues.

  • The Victorian Government has made changes to planning and permit requirements for outdoor dining, to assist local councils fast-track applications and approvals. Outdoor trade approvals required as part of the Outdoor Activation Initiative are being implemented efficiently and safely through to 30 June 2021.

    These changes allow the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation’s (VCGLR) approval process to fast-track applications and approvals for Temporary Limited Licences. This means already-licensed businesses can serve alcohol in their new outdoor dining areas.

    An unlicensed business that wants to supply liquor in a public outdoor area will need to apply for a new liquor licence. New liquor licence applicants are subject to licensing requirements under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 that cannot be bypassed or fast-tracked.

  • 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.

  • The Temporary Limited Licences issued by the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation expires when your local council permission for outdoor trading expires. Councils are encouraged to provide approval of these arrangements to 30 June 2021.

  • Outdoor dining permits are overseen by local councils. Please contact your local council for more information about outdoor dining permits.

  • Self-service buffet-style food service areas, cutlery and glass stations, and communal drink or condiment stations are not recommended. Free drinking water should be provided via table service rather than at self-serve stations.

  • 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.

    See Industry Restart Guidelines – Hospitality for further information on hygiene, cleaning and sanitation processes.

  • 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. 

  • No. The density quotient does not apply to workers in kitchens within the  workplaces, however workers in the kitchen must practise physical distancing where possible.

  • Yes. Shared plates can be ordered and should be shared within a group if possible. Buffet service should be avoided where practical. To find out more about serving food in a COVIDSafe way, see the Industry Restart Guidelines: Hospitality

  • 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.

  • Weddings at a hospitality venue are subject to the density quotient (one person per two square metres). 

    From 6.00pm on Friday 26 March 2021, there is no cap on the number of people permitted on a dancefloor. The density quotient relevant to the venue continues to apply.

    Electronic record keeping requirements apply to venues.

Operation

  • 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 07 May 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support and the Industry Coordination Centre

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 coronavirus (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

Was this page helpful?