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FAQ questions about dining in pubs & restaurants from June 1st (Victoria)

AHA (Vic) Stage 1 Re-opening

Frequently Asked Questions



1. How many people are allowed in my hotel at any one time?

From 1 June 2020, pubs and hotels are allowed to reopen for table service with a capacity limit of up to 20 patrons per single enclosed space, subject to one patron per four square metres.

2. What is an enclosed space?

An enclosed space is an area physically separated by permanent structures or a discrete area of the hotel that is sufficiently separated by walls that reach from floor to ceiling, or are at least 2.1m high.

Venues can have and use multiple dining rooms e.g. upstairs and downstairs, or separate rooms on one level, or an indoor and separate outdoor area, but must comply with the one person per four square metre rule, with no more than 20 guests at any one time, in each separate dining area.

3. Does this number include children?

Yes.



4. Does this number include staff?

No.

5. Does the ‘one person per every four-square metres’ rule apply in the kitchen?

The density quotient of one person per four square metres does not apply to staff in kitchens that are workplaces, but staff working in the kitchen must practise physical distancing where possible.

6. What details do I have to collect from each patron?

You must request and record the first name, phone number and entry time of every patron to assist in rapid contact tracing. You may also wish to include the table number they are sitting at.

Entry cannot be refused if a patron does not provide you with their details.

7. What do I need to do to comply with privacy regulations when collecting and keeping visitor details?

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner provides a guide on the reasonable steps you could take to protect the personal information you are collecting from patrons and visitors. This includes steps to protect the information from misuse, interference and loss, as well as unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.

8. Must I take reservations?

It isn’t mandatory to take reservations, however to manage your numbers and patron expectation you may wish to do so.

9. How far apart must the tables be from each other?

Each table must be spaced so that any diners on a neighbouring table remain 1.5 metres apart when seated.

10. How many people can sit on any one table?

Each table must have a maximum of six patrons.

11. Can I convert my sports bar or public bar to a dining area?

Yes, as long each table is spaced so that any diners on a neighbouring table remain 1.5 metres apart when seated and you uphold the capacity limit of up to 20 patrons per single enclosed space, subject to one patron per four square metres.

12. Am I allowed to have shared plates on the menu?

Yes, as long as they are shared within a group at the same table. No self-service buffets should be provided.

13. What is table service?

Table service means that food and drink must be consumed at a table. There are to be no communal self-service areas and patrons must not gather, or stand around bars consuming drinks. You must ensure you meet the queuing requirements outlined in the guidelines by placing distance markers on the floor so patrons are social distancing by 1.5 meters.

14. Can I turn on my EBTs, KENO Touch or RWTs?

No.

15. Can I show sport on the TV?

Yes.

16. Can people stand at the bar and drink?

No, all food and beverage must be consumed at a table. Alcohol must not be served without food or with snack food only.

17. Will my normal trading hours remain?

Yes

18. Can I open the children’s playground?

No.

19. Must I have separate entry and exit points?

Where appropriate use a separate door for entry and exit. Where a separate door is not appropriate, a bollard and directional arrows may be used directing patrons in and out of the hotel. Floor markings, posters and/or directional signage to be displayed to assist with social distancing.

20. What constitutes a meal?

A meal is more than a ‘snack’. Light meals are acceptable. You should use common sense in applying this requirement noting that menus are all different. That said, alcohol must not be served without food or with snack food only.

21. Can I have salt and pepper shakers or water jugs on tables?

The number of condiments available on tables should be minimised where possible. Where they are offered, they should be cleaned after each group of diners. This includes items like sugar, salt, pepper and water jugs. If provided, condiments should be disinfected between uses and jugs of water should be properly cleaned before reuse.

22. Do I have to take the temperature of my staff?

No. However, staff should be encouraged to the Staff Questionnaire before every shift.

23. Do I have to take the temperature of patrons when entering the hotel?

No.

24. What signage do I need?

Signage that venues can print and display, click here to access.

At a minimum a venue must:

· Display a sign at each public entry that includes information on the maximum number of people that can be present in the space at a single time, rounded down to the nearest whole number.

· Display posters on good hygiene and handwashing practices in prominent places and establish hygiene stations (with hand sanitiser) at entrances and throughout the venue to encourage hand hygiene of staff and patrons.

25. Must I supply hand sanitiser?

Yes, hand sanitiser should be made available to patrons in a prominent location on entry and exit from the venue.

26. Can patrons pay with cash?

You should encourage customers to use contactless payment methods such as credit or debit cards, phone or other payment-enabled devices instead of cash. If cash payment is made, staff should wash their hands thoroughly after use.

27. When can I start taking bookings for overnight stays?

You are now able to take future bookings for stays occurring after 11:59pm on Sunday, 31 May.

Tourist accommodation can open to guests provided there are no shared communal facilities such as kitchens or bathrooms.

28. Can I run functions?

You can however the 20-patron limit still applies even if you have a single dining space or density quotient that could accommodate more. It is also important to note that the current easing of restrictions allows for seated dining services only with a maximum of 6 people per table. No cocktail style functions.

29. Who will be enforcing these restrictions

Victoria Police;

The VCGLR;

Local councils;

The Department of Health and Human Services; and

WorkSafe

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© 2020 by Jimmy Ladgrove