Australia’s pubs and clubs could open as soon as next week due to a technicality in the government’s roadmap out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australia’s road out would be broken down into three stages with the final due to be complete by July.
AUSTRALIA-OPEN DOOR FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENT
While cafes and restaurants would be permitted under the first stage to serve diners, the green light comes with restrictions.
The dining venues will only be allowed to serve up to 10 patrons at a time and one patron per four square metres.
Pubs and clubs were not included in stage one, instead, wrapped in with venues without seated dining areas and gaming venues in stage three.
Even then, “consideration” would be given in the reopening of venues instead of a blanket green light.
But Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said – technically – pubs and clubs could open their doors early, too.
“Seated restaurants in pubs and clubs, like in other venues, can – if the states and territories choose to implement in stage one – they could start with 10 people,” he told reporters on Friday.
“They may well not. For a pub and club, that would be a pretty small restaurant.”
“But as the prime minister said, there’s still a lot more work to be done in that space.”
Despite the national announcement, the changes will be implemented only if state and territory authorities decide to.
“States will and must move at their own pace, and will cut and paste out of this plan to suit their local circumstances,” Morrison said.
The Northern Territory has moved fastest to lift restrictions with its pubs set to open from the middle of May.
Pubs and clubs in Queensland will reopen from midnight on May 15 under a series of changes.
The venues will be allowed to host up to 10 dine-in patrons, however, bars and gaming venues will be excluded from the new changes.
New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania are signalling no major changes to restrictions this weekend.
Western Australia has allowed gatherings of up to 10 people, with further relaxations expected.
And South Australia will also give the green light to eateries, however, the sale of alcohol will be exempt, ruling out pubs and bars.