Cafes, Restaurants food courts and Licensed Venues

Step 3.2 of Canberra’s Recovery Plan came into effect at 9am Friday 9 October 2020. To find out more check the Business and Work page.

What can I do?

From 9am Friday 9 October 2020:

Venue capacity

  • Option 1: All venues with usable space of 100 square meters or less can have 25 people across the whole venue (includes all indoor/outdoor spaces); OR
  • Option 2: Venues with usable space between 101 and 200 square metres can have 50 people across the whole venue (includes all indoor/outdoor spaces) OR .
  • Option 3: Venues can use the sum of:
    • one person per four square metres of usable space for each indoor space (up to a maximum of 200 people); and
    • one person per two square metres of usable space for each outdoor space (up to a maximum of 200 people)
  • Notes on options above:
    • Businesses must not exceed the capacity limit that applies under standard liquor or fire occupancy loading and regulatory conditions of the venue.
    • Maximum capacity excludes staff.
    • No modifications can be made to venues.
    • Venues cannot use a combination of the three options. However, if a venue with a larger outdoor area chooses to use option 3, and that outdoor area is unable to be used due to inclement weather, venues can choose to use either option 1 or 2 if this provides a higher volume of patrons.

What can’t I do?

  • Patrons should not congregate and groups should not mingle with other groups.
  • Patrons should not stand around while drinking. They must remain seated either at the bar (away from the area where orders are taken) or at a table.
  • Dancing is not permitted to ensure physical distancing.
  • Self-serve buffet-style food service, communal snack bars or communal condiments in all venues, including food courts, are not permitted.
  • A person who owns, controls or operates a non-essential business or undertaking under the Public Health Direction must not temporarily divide any usable indoor space or usable outdoor space for the purposes of calculating usable space.

What are my responsibilities?

  • Venues, including food courts, must have a COVID Safety Plan.
  • All venues must clearly display occupancy allowance at the entrance to each venue as well as display additional signs with area occupancy for separate individual spaces.
  • Venues, including food courts, are required to ask all patrons for their first name and phone number and record it, along with the date and time they attended the venue. Details should be securely destroyed after 28 days. Consider using the free Check In CBR app for a safe and easy way to capture these details.
  • Licensed venues must ensure there is appropriate physical distancing between patrons queueing to enter the premises.
  • Tables should be spaced in a way that ensures patrons at different tables remain 1.5 metres apart.
  • For venues with a total usable space of 200 square metres or less, tables should be spaced as far apart as practicable and 1.5 metres apart where this is possible.
  • Food courts should use floor markings showing where people can queue and tables in food courts should be set up for a maximum of six patrons only at any given time.
  • Tenants in food courts should have a separate order and collection counter, where possible.
  • Patrons in food courts are encouraged to be seated at all times after purchasing food and to leave as quickly as possible.
  • Each indoor and each outdoor space should have its own waitstaff if possible.
  • If possible, ensure there are separate restroom facilities for each dining area.
  • Manage bookings so patrons do not stay longer than two hours.
  • Increase cleaning of high-touch areas in all venues, including food courts (for example railings on stairs, menus, bars, chairs and trays) and restroom facilities.
  • Increase cleaning of shared entertainment facilities (for example pool tables and electronic machines).
  • Venues must not breach any other occupancy laws or licensing requirements when determining their patron density allowance.
  • Venues should carefully manage the entry, exit and flow of visitors through their premises.
  • Businesses should encourage patrons not to congregate or mingle within the same area of the venue for more than two hours.
  • Licensed premises to take reasonable steps to require patrons queuing to enter the premises to appropriately physically distance from each other.
  • If clubs need further information regarding the restrictions for their venue, contact the Access Canberra Business Liaison Team on (02) 6205 0900.

What are the community responsibilities?

  • Maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres.
  • Limit the time at a venue to less than two hours and stay in one part of the venue as much as possible.
  • Make bookings where possible and let businesses know if you won’t be able to make it.
  • Maintain personal hygiene, including regular hand washing.
  • Stay home if unwell.
  • Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Download the Check In CBR app and sign into participating Canberra venues you visit.

What does the public need to know?

  • Continue to practise good hand and respiratory hygiene, physical distancing, stay home if you are unwell and get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Ensure you provide your first name and contact number to any businesses that are required to ask for contact tracing purposes. Download the Check In CBR app to use at participating venues across Canberra.
  • Be sensible when you have people over at your residence and have your own control measures in place. Know who is there and at what times, download the COVIDSafe app, join Flu Tracker and participate in important YourSay Community Panel engagements and health surveys that will help the ACT respond the best that it can.
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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: October 09 2020