From 11:59pm on 31 May restaurants, cafes and other hospitality businesses have limited dine-in arrangements.

Key points

From 11.59pm on 31 May, restaurants, cafes and other hospitality businesses have been able to resume dine-in services with the following restrictions:

  • Up to 20 seated patrons per enclosed space.
  • Limits will be placed on entry to comply with the density requirements allowed within a single space – one customer per four square metres.
  • Venues are required to request contact details, first name and phone number, of every customer to assist in rapid contact tracing.

From 11.59pm on 21 June this will increase to 50 patrons per enclosed space. 

A further increase of up to 100 patrons per enclosed space is planned for the second half of July.

Changes to these dates will be subject to the advice of the Chief Health Officer.

On this page

Current restrictions

What do the current restrictions allow me to do?

From 11.59pm on 31 May, restaurants, cafes and fast food outlets have been able to operate under the following conditions:

  • There is a limited number of patrons allowed - 20 patrons per enclosed space
  • Limits are placed on entry to comply with the density requirements allowed within a single space – one person per four square metres 
  • Tables are spaced 1.5 metres apart, to ensure physical distancing.
  • Venues are required to request contact details, first name and phone number, of every customer to assist in rapid contact tracing. 
  • A number of safety precautions are required, including extra cleaning
  • Free online coronavirus (COVID-19) training is available for staff.

The Victorian Government consulted with industry peak bodies and workers’ representatives to develop detailed guidelines on creating a safe environment for reopening. These guidelines are available on Business Victoria website.

Changes to these dates will be subject to the advice of the Chief Health Officer.

What venues does this apply to?

This applies to restaurants and cafes that offer table service to serve food. This includes standalone cafes and restaurants, restaurants and bistros within a pub, bar, registered and licensed club, RSL and community club or hotel, and fast food outlets, cafeterias and canteens.

Restrictions on other spaces in these venues – including public bars and gaming areas – will remain in place throughout June, as will restrictions on food courts. Closed areas within these venues cannot be calculated as part of the four square metre rule.

Venues with multiple divided spaces can have up to 20 patrons in each space as long as they comply with density requirements and there are controls in place for shared spaces, e.g. foyers and bathrooms. Tables should be spaced 1.5 metres apart.

More information is available in the guidelines published on 25 May.

What measures are being put in place to keep staff and customers safe?

Limits will be placed on entry to ensure there is only one person per four square metres and a maximum of 20 patrons per space (whether indoor or outdoor).

Increased hygiene measures for staff and patrons will be required. Guidelines are available on Business Victoria’s website.

For more information about keeping staff and customers safe, see information for businesses page.

Can I go to a venue for a drink only?

No. Alcohol will only be available with meals.

What counts as food to allow alcohol to be served?

A meal must be a genuine meal – not a snack. As always, we ask Victorians to use their judgement and drink responsibly.

Guidelines are available on Business Victoria’s website.

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

Restaurant areas in RSLs, bowls clubs and other venues are allowed under the easing of restrictions, but restrictions still apply to other areas in these venues.

What about cellar doors at wineries? What restrictions apply?

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

For those wineries with a restaurant or cafe they will be able to sell alcohol by the bottle and glass or sell a wine tasting experience if they are serving with a seated meal. In addition, they can sell full bottles from their cellar doors for consumption away from the premise.

As part of this sales process, where the liquor licence permits it, a cellar door may also choose to offer free samples of its produce to a seated customer to help the customer choose what to buy – but they will not be able to sell a tasting or wine by the glass, unless it is accompanied by a seated meal.

Why aren't food courts opening?

Restaurants in food courts are able to offer delivery and takeaway but cannot provide table service. Seating and tables at food courts represent a risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission because of the numbers of people using them.

Victorians are encouraged to minimise the time spent picking up takeaway, attend shopping centres only for necessary goods and services, and return home directly.

Can I go out to pick up takeaway food?

Yes. You should travel directly to the food outlet, try to minimise the time spent in those premises and observe physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others.

Can I order home-delivered food?

Yes, don’t allow the delivery person to enter your home, and always maintain physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others, especially 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.

When will nightclubs and bars open?

Restrictions on nightclubs and bars remain in place. Nightclubs and bars will only open when there is enough evidence to indicate that it is safe for these venues to operate.

What constitutes an enclosed space?

An enclosed space is an area, room or premises that is substantially enclosed by a roof and walls.

If venues have multiple floors, courtyards or separate rooms these may count as enclosed spaces.

Guidelines are available on Business Victoria’s website.

How will you enforce this? Who will enforce it?

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

As restrictions are eased, industry bodies, Victoria Police, Worksafe, Authorised Officers will work together under both under the Directions and existing legislative and regulatory frameworks to boost education and remediation, in addition to driving enforcement and compliance with the Directions.

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 03 9641 1555. 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 noncompliance?

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 a direction by the Chief Health Officer to provide information.

Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,0000 for businesses are possible through the court system.

Changes to restrictions from 11:59pm on 21 June

What will change from 11:59pm on 21 June

Subject to the advice of the Chief Health Officer, from 11.59pm on 21 June up to 50 patrons will be allowed per enclosed space at restaurants and cafes.

Limits will continue to be placed on entry to comply with the density requirements allowed within a single space – one customer per four square metres. Venues will still be required to request contact details, first name and phone number, of every customer to assist in rapid contact tracing.

A further increase of up to 100 patrons per enclosed space is planned for the second half of July, subject to the advice of the Chief Health Officer.