From 11.59pm tonight COVID-19 restrictions will be eased to allow cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs, residential hotels, community facilities and bars to provide on-premises dining, subject to restrictions.
- Maximum of 10 dining patrons (20 in the outback) with social distancing observed. Takeaway customers are not counted in this figure. However, the 4m² per person rule will require you to monitor overall numbers in any case.
- No matter how large your venue is, or how many dining areas you have, you cannot have more than 10 dining patrons on the premises at once. This includes indoor and outdoor areas.
- While it is clear that there must be at least 1.5m between people seated at separate tables, we are struggling to see the practicalities of applying this to people who are dining together (a party of four would require a table measuring 2.25m x 2.25m, and even then their legs would not be 1.5m apart). We have contacted OLGR for clarification on this point.
- Table service only for dining customers, no service at the bar. From the communications from Government, it seems acceptable that orders can be placed at a counter, with food and liquor then served to the customer at the table. Serving a customer a drink at a bar appears to be clearly prohibited.
- Food must meet the definition of a meal from the Liquor Act, that is – eaten at a table or other fixed structure, with cutlery provided, and of sufficient substance as to be ordinarily accepted as a meal. Finger food, snacks and tapas are unlikely to meet this definition.
- Liquor may only be provided ‘with a meal’, which is different from the usual term of ‘in association with a meal’ which applies on Good Friday and Christmas Day, and limits the liquor service times before and after dining. Although not stated explicitly, the expectation seems to be that patrons will not be encouraged to stay on the premises for extended periods. In the COVID-19 FAQs it states:
How long can I stay at a cafe or restaurant? (eg: is there a time limit?)
No, there is no time limit however, we do encourage you to be mindful that other patrons may be waiting and to not stay on the premises longer than you need to. We’re asking for Queenslanders to use common sense and good judgement during this time.
- Despite the easing of restrictions, business operators must not allow takeaway food customers to consume food on or adjacent to the premises.
Before opening for on-premises dining, business operators must:
- Update their WHS plan. (A template is available here.)
- Complete the COVID-19 checklist. (Download the checklist here.)
- Display the updated WHS plan and checklist on the premises.
Staff currently employed on the premises must complete COVID safe training within two weeks of recommencement of on-premises trade. All new staff must complete training before starting work.
- The course has not yet been released but you can register your interest for COVID safe training. It looks like it will be free of charge and provided through TAFE.
The Commissioner’s email to licensees yesterday indicated that a further Q&A list would be provided today, so please keep an eye on your emails for this coming through.