Aussie pubs and restaurants reopen sooner than expected – but there's a catch
The country's seemingly successful measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus have allowed life to start returning to normal sooner
After pubs and clubs in Australia were ordered to close and restaurants and cafés reduced to take-away orders back in March to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19, the doors of many are now set to reopen, albeit with strict restrictions in place, after the curve in Australia was officially flattened.
Hospitality venues in New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory were today allowed to start welcoming diners once again, but with a strict limit of just 10 patrons being allowed inside at any one time.
Furthermore, a distance of 1.5 metres – the social distancing measure put into place by the Australian Government – between all tables is also required.
With the decision to allow venues to reopen left up to state governments, however, the measures in other states are not the same as in the aforementioned four.
In Western Australia, restaurants and cafés will be allowed to host 20 patrons at a time – but not until 18 May. South Australia is only allowing outdoor dining for up to 10 customers, while the Northern Territory has just a two hour time limit on patrons in place.
However, in Victoria (the state that has consistently had the strictest and most enforced lockdown measures in place), the prior restrictions on hospitality venues remain in place.
Since social distancing measures were put into place at the end of March after the country saw its peak number of new coronavirus cases (460 in one day on 28 March), the numbers have consistently fallen since, with some states such as South Australia and the Northern Territory going for multiple weeks without any new cases arising.
So far, 7022 Australians have tested positive for COVID-19 and 6,301 have recovered at the time of writing. Despite the relatively small population among other major countries, its infection rate has been one of the lowest globally, with neighbouring New Zealand also seeing a very low infection rate compared with many other nations.