Prime Minister Scott Morrison has tonight announced restaurants and cafés will be restricted to takeaway and delivery only, and pubs will be forced close, in the latest attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.
From Monday noon, restaurants and cafés will only be permitted to run takeaway and home-delivery services.
Licensed clubs and pubs, as well as cinemas, casinos, fitness centres and places of worship, will be forced to close.
The Prime Minister said the regulations were necessary because current social-distancing measures have not been observed by the community.
“We now need to take action because we cannot have the confidence, as a group of leaders, that the social distancing guidelines and rules that are put in place won’t be followed to the level of compliance that we require to flatten the curve and slow the spread and save lives,” he said in a press conference on Sunday evening.
The new measures are expected to be in place for six months.
The announcement comes on top of a raft of social-distancing measures that have hit the hospitality industry in past weeks, including a ban on non-essential indoor gatherings of 100 people and more, and a mandatory four square metres per person rule for smaller venues.
However, the peak body for the restaurant industry says this latest announcement will have a positive outcome.
“What a huge win for the industry who’ve fought to protect restaurants and caterers in this time of crisis,” said Restaurant & Catering Industry Association CEO, Wes Lambert. “This is the lifeline these businesses will need to survive. These businesses will become innovative for how they do takeaway and delivery.”
In the wake of the pandemic, a large number of hospitality venues around the country have already reworked their operations to allow for takeaway and delivery, including top-end restaurants like Queensland’s Labart and Melbourne’s Attica.
Today, the Federal Government announced its second-stage $66.1 billion financial stimulus package to help small- and medium-sized businesses, and assist workers who find themselves unemployed as a result of the widespread economic impact of COVID-19.
More to come.
Source: Thanks https://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/news/restaurant-news/coronavirus-restaurants-takeaway-only-18455