First Step

11.59pm on 13 September 2020

First Step: Cafes and restaurants - metropolitan Melbourne

What does this mean I can do?

If you live in metropolitan Melbourne:

  • you can only go to pick up food and drink between 5am – 9pm.
  • you can only travel up to 5km from your home.
  • restaurants and cafés can open for takeaway and delivery only.
  • food courts are now closed, including restaurants and cafés within food courts.
  • pubs, bars, clubs and nightclubs will be closed. They can offer takeaway or home delivery of food and alcohol only.
  • bottle shops can open.
Your questions answered

Summary of restrictions

If you live in metropolitan Melbourne:

  • restaurants and cafés can open for takeaway and delivery only. 
  • food courts will be closed, including restaurants and cafés within food courts. 
  • pubs, bars, clubs and nightclubs will be closed. They can offer takeaway or home delivery of food and alcohol. 
  • market stalls can open to provide takeaway food and drink only. 
  • bottle shops remain open. 
  • you can only go to pick up food and drink between 5am – 9pm. 
  • you can only travel up to 5km from your home. You should stay as close to your home as possible, for example by shopping at the nearest supermarket. For some people the nearest goods and services will be more than 5km away. In this situation you may travel beyond 5km to the nearest provider. 
  • only one person per household can leave home to shop per day. If you are a parent or guardian who is caring for a young child or someone who cannot be left unattended then they may accompany you. 

Do all food and drink businesses in metropolitan Melbourne have to close?

Food and drink businesses in metropolitan Melbourne, including restaurants and cafés, can only offer takeaway or delivery services. No sit-down meals or drinks are allowed. 

Workplace canteens and cafés may open for staff only. This includes highway cafés and truck stops for long haul drivers who can dine in a dedicated section, as long as the physical distancing and the four square metre rule is observed. Hospital cafeterias may not serve members of the public.

Food courts are closed. 

How far can I travel to pick up food or drink?

You can only travel to businesses that are no more than 5km of your home. You should stay as close to your home as possible, for example by shopping at the nearest supermarket. For some people the nearest goods and services will be more than 5km away. In this situation you may travel beyond 5km to the nearest provider.

How can I keep myself and my family safe when I leave home?

To keep yourself, and your family safe when you leave home you must wear a face covering. Always wash your hands before you leave and when you return home.

Keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others.

You should limit the number of people in your household who leave home each day.

I am a permitted worker. Can I get takeaway lunch from a local café?

As a permitted worker you should try to bring your lunch when possible. If you need to purchase lunch or drinks at a nearby cafe, you can.  You must limit your movement as much as possible and purchase lunch from near your work.

This does not extend to exercise or shopping for groceries or other supplies. You must do this close to home.

Can pubs, bars, nightclubs and hotels open?

Pubs, bars, nightclubs and hotels in metropolitan Melbourne are closed. These services can still operate as:

  • Bottle shops
  • Takeaway service or home delivery of food and drink for people to consume off premises
  • Accommodation at pubs or hotels for permitted reasons only such as staying for work or compassionate reasons.

Do I need to wear a face covering when picking up takeaway?

You must wear a face covering, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so. Even with a face covering, you should keep at least 1.5 metres distance between you and others.  For more information visit the face coverings page.

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:

  • Don’t allow the delivery person to enter your home and 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, don’t allow delivery people to enter the building or use lifts or internal stairways. Pick up your delivery from the front of the building instead. This minimises the risk to any older or vulnerable people who share the common areas of the property.

Can I order delivery food after curfew? What about take-away?

You can order food to be delivered to your house after curfew (curfew is 9pm – 5am). You cannot leave your house to collect take-away during curfew.

Are there restrictions on the time of day I can order home delivered food?

There are no restrictions on the time of day you can order home delivered food, but you should check the time that restaurants and cafés are open as they may adjust their operating hours. Curfew (9pm to 5am) applies for take-away orders.

You should order home delivered food from a restaurant or café that is close to your home.

Do all transactions need to be cashless?

Cash can still be accepted as a form of payment, but it is strongly recommended that all businesses use contactless payments.

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

Dine in areas in RSLs, bowls clubs and other venues in metropolitan Melbourne are closed. They can operate for take-away food and drink only.

Are hospital canteens open?

Hospital canteens can open for staff and patients only. They are not to open to members of the public.

How will you enforce this? Who will enforce it?

Directions will continue to be enforced through spot checks by Victoria Police and the use of emergency powers by Authorised Officers to ensure compliance with the Public Health Directions. 

Industry bodies, Victoria Police, WorkSafe, and Authorised Officers will work together to inform Victorians about the directions, as well as undertake enforcement and compliance activities as needed. 

Community members can raise concerns about compliance with directions through the Police Assistance Line (PAL) on 131 444. Workers can raise concerns via WorkSafe on 1800 136 089. And employers can talk to their industry regulator or Peak body for specific industry related support. 

A Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Joint Intelligence Unit has been established to support comprehensive preparedness and responses to outbreaks and identify and manage outbreak risks. 

The Department of Health and Human Services and WorkSafe will co-ordinate intelligence and information on businesses that are non-compliant.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

Victoria Police can issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses for:

  • Refusing or failing to comply with the emergency directions
  • Refusing or failing to comply with a public health risk power direction
  • Refusing or failing to comply with the Public Health Directions to provide information.

Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for businesses are possible through the court system. Individuals who do not wear a face covering and do not have a lawful reason can be fined $200.