Including the latest guidance from all states on COVID-safety planning, plus staffing and equipment, condensed menus, communicating with your customers and getting your Costimator V8 rebooted.

Everything you need to do or consider to reopen safely and stay open.



These are the current rules for each State and Territory as at 1st June 2020. 


  • From 1 June, must not exceed 50 customers or one customer per 4 square metres (excluding staff) per existing separate seated food or drink area, whichever is the lesser. 
  • Multiple dining areas permitted to operate.
  • Seated dining only, no bar service. Alcohol permitted with a meal.
  • No bookings of more than 10 patrons allowed, exceptions for wedding receptions, memorial or funeral services. See exceptions listed here.
  • Must have COVID safety plan in place. Here’s the NSW Government template.
  • Keep a copy of COVID safety plan at your venue(s) at all times.
  • Latest guidelines and FAQ issued 29 May to help formulate your COVID safe plan.


  • From 1 June, permitted up to 20 seated customers per enclosed space. 1 person per four square metre rule applies.
  • From 22 June, this increases to 50 patrons maximum per enclosed space.
  • Then a further increase to 100 patrons mid-late July, exact date TBC.
  • Seated dining only, no bar service. Alcohol permitted with a meal.
  • Limit of 6 people per table.
  • Mandatory COVID-19 staff training required for at least one staff member per premises (other staff encouraged). 
  • Must have COVID safety plan in place as per Hospitality Industry Guidelines
  • Keep a copy of COVID safety plan at your venue(s) at all times. 


  • From 30 May, permitted up to 20 patrons maximum for each enclosed space within the venue, provided they are seperate enclosed spaces. No limit to the number of enclosed spaces – so large venues could have 150+ total patrons at one time across all areas. 1 person per four square metre rule applies. 
  • Seated dining only, no bar service. Alcohol permitted with a meal.
  • Must have COVID safely plan in place. Here’s the ACT Government checklist
  • Keep a copy of COVID safety plan at your venue(s) at all times. 
  • ACT Government have announced a hospitality industry assistance package


  • Currently permitted up to 10 seated patrons per dining area. 1 person per four square metre rule applies.
  • From 15 June, this increases to 20 patrons maximum per dining area.
  • Then a further increase to 50-100 patrons maximum from 13 July.
  • Maximum 2 separate dining areas permitted to operate per venue. Each dining area must have separate wait staff.
  • Seated dining only, no bar service. Alcohol permitted with a meal.
  • Must have a COVID safety plan in place. TAS Government checklist available.
  • Once you have your plan, you can get Government issued COVID-ready stickers and posters to promote your venue is COVIDsafe – register here


  • Currently permitted up to 10 seated patrons, or up to 20 patrons for outback premises provided all patrons are local. 1 person per four square metre rule applies.
  • From 12 June, expected to increase to 20 seated patrons, or up to 50 patrons for outback premises.
  • Seated dining only, no bar service. Alcohol permitted with a meal.
  • Must have COVID WHS plan in place – QLD WHS template here – that complies with COVID safety checklist here. 
  • All staff must complete mandatory TAFE COVID Safe training within 2weeks of reopening.
  • Display WHS plan and signed checklist in a visible location at your venue(s).


  • From 1 June, permitted up to 80 patrons maximum at a venue. With any separate room or area a maximum 20 people permitted. 1 person per four square metre rule applies.
  • Must have a COVID safe plan in place to reopen, need to complete this form to create your plan, with guidelines on how to complete. 
  • Keep a copy of COVID safety plan at your venue(s) at all times. 


  • Currently permitted up to 20 seated patrons maximum. 1 person per four square metre rule applies.
  • From 6 June (phase 3), up to 100 patrons per single undivided space, up to a maximum of 300 patrons per premises (excluding staff) permitted. One person per 2 square metre rule applies. 
  • Must have COVID safety plan in place to reopen. Refer to Phase 3 COVID Safety Guidelines
  • All staff must complete the AHA Hospitality & Tourism COVID-19 Hygiene Course before returning to work.


  • No restriction to total number of patrons within the premises at one time provided social distancing rules enforced.
  • Can not seat more than 10 people at a table.
  • Currently seated dining only, no bar service. Alcohol permitted with a meal.
  • From 12pm 5 June, bar service without consumption of an accompanying meal and gaming activities including TAB are permitted.
  • Must have online COVID-19 safety plan completed and submitted. If your business has multiple locations, you need to complete one for each premises.


The Federal and State governments are offering a range of stimulus packages and financial support to help alleviate the business challenges of COVID-19. There are other support services out there too.

We’ve collated what you need to know about the support that’s available to your hospitality business.

Licencing relief

We know how expensive a liquor licence is, and with a dramatic reduction in trade and revenue it’s a relief to know that some states are lending a hand by issuing refunds.

If you’re in New South Wales, Victoria, or Tasmania you can apply to get a refund.

In Victoria, If you’ve already paid your 2020 license and permit the State Revenue Office will administer a reimbursement by cheque. 

In NSW, you can apply for a refund, but there are rules around this, so you should check out their website to see how the refund applies to your individual business situation.

In Tasmania, the government is issuing a refund, but you’ll need to fill out their form.

NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania have also brought in more flexible rules, which means if you are already licenced you’ll be able to sell takeaway alcohol.

If you’re not already licenced, but would like to sell takeaway alcohol, NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania are now allowing unlicensed venues to apply for a licence to sell takeaway alcohol.

Every state is different, so you should check your individual state government’s website for more information.

JobKeeper Payments

If your turnover has been reduced because of the coronavirus, you may be eligible for the Federal government’s JobKeeper Payment.

Designed to help you keep eligible employees, JobKeeper is available to the following eligible businesses who meet all of the below criteria:

  • On 1 March 2020, you carried on a business in Australia.
  • You employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020.
  • Your eligible employees are currently employed by your business for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired).
  • Your business has faced either a  
    • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
    • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion)

Once you register, you’ll get $1,500 per fortnight for every eligible employee until 27 September 2020.

You currently have until 31 May 2020 to apply for JobKeeper.

Step by step guides are available to help you apply. But we recommend you speak with your accountant or financial advisor to get more information about how JobKeeper might apply to your unique circumstances.

Please note, all of the above is accurate as of the 11 May 2020.

Government financial support

The federal government has set up an SME business loan scheme and created grants too. There is also State Government support available.

Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme

Under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme the Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital.

The Government will provide eligible lenders with a guarantee for loans with the following terms:

  • Maximum total size of loans of $250,000 per borrower
  • The loans will be up to 3 years, with an initial 6-month repayment holiday
  • The loans will be in the form of unsecured finance, meaning that borrowers will not have to provide an asset as security for the loan

This scheme is available for new loans made by participating lenders until 30 September 2020.

If you want to apply you should first check the eligibility requirements before approaching your financial institution.

Government grants

There are also grants available to help. The Entrepreneurs' Programme gives you access to expert advice, funding and incentives to help your business innovate, compete and grow. You can learn more about the programme here.

State and Council support

State Governments and local councils are also offering grants and assistance. It’s worth checking with them to see if any might apply to your business.

Some States, including VIC and NSW, are offering one-off small business grants of up to $10,000.

In NSW too, you may also be eligible for the Small Business rebate that gives you $500 to compensate for safety equipment you've purchased.

Insurance help

Now is not the time to cancel your insurance policies. Yes, they’re a big expense, but they’re also an important form of protection for your business. Because even if you’re not trading fires, burst pipes, storms, property damage and burglaries can still happen.

Many insurance companies are also stepping up to help. Many are:

  • Deferring premium payments
  • Offering refunds on unused portions of premiums for small businesses who cancel their insurance, with no administration or cancellation fees
  • Giving small businesses, which needed to close premises due to the impact of COVID-19, the peace of mind of full insurance cover on premises with no changes to your premium.

You can learn more about some of the popular insurance providers and how they’re helping during COVID-19 below:

Other great support


Jonathan Herps, a Scaling Up Advisor, offers coaching to businesses who need help to define their customers, overcome cashflow issues and develop sustainable plans for survival and growth. To help in this current crisis, Jonathan is currently giving My Local Foodie members a free, one-hour session. All you have to do is get in touch with him and tell him we referred you.


Employment Hero is a complete HR management solution for small to medium businesses, designed to manage HR, payroll, engagement and employee benefits in Australia. They’re currently running a series of webinars on a range of topics, including navigating business during the uncertainty of COVID-19.


Gilchrist Connell is a leading, national Australian litigation, disputes, workplace and corporate and commercial firm. They’ve put together a helpful Q&A outlining employer rights and obligations during this time.


Blue Rock Accounting provides accounting, bookkeeping, legal, insurance and digital services to entrepreneurs and their businesses. They’re currently offering a series of webinars, including how hospitality can survive and thrive during COVID-19.

We're here to help too


Don’t forget, we’re here to help too. We’ve been in business for 13 years and we’re not giving in, we’re committed to getting hospo surviving and thriving. Our Foodie team can help, whether by sourcing retail items for takeaway, re-costing your recipes to reduce your COGs or planning a whole, profitable new menu. Get in touch