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 1 October 2020


  • Maximum 300 patrons total, or one customer per 4 square metres of space – whichever is the lesser. 
  • Register your business as COVID safe here
  • Must keep a digital contact register of patrons
  • Venues must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for each food and drink area. Latest guidelines to formulate your plan.



    • Maximum of 100 patrons per indoor space or outdoor space, or one patron per 4 square metres, whichever is lesser.
    • Must prominently display the maximum number of patrons allowed in the venue.
    • Must have a COVID safely plan in place. 
    • Must keep contact register for all visitors. Use the Check In CBR App



  • Capacity must not exceed 250 people for an undivided space in an indoor premises, and 1,000 people in an undivided space outdoors. Maximum density limit one person per 2 square metres applies. 
  • Must have a COVID safety plan in place. Here’s the guide to developing your plan
  • Use the COVID safety template to create your plan


  • Indoors the 1 person per 4 square metre rule still applies, but outdoors the rule (as of 1st October) is 1 person per 2 square metres. 
  • Must have COVID Safety 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.
  • Must keep contact register for 56 days.


  • Capacity subject to 1 person per 2 square metre rule. No capped maximum patron limit in place.
  • Must have a COVID Marshall onsite who has completed the SA Health training
  • Must have a COVID safe plan in place, need to complete this form to create your plan.



  • No restriction to total number of patrons within the premises at one time provided 1.5m social distancing rules enforced.
  • Seated and standing consumption of food and alcohol permitted.
  • Gaming including TAB permitted.
  • Must have online COVID safety plan in place using the Checklist 


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. VIC are also waiving licensing fees for outdoor dining as part of Step 3 roadmap to recovery. 

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

JobKeeper has been extended until 28 March 2021. So if your business' turnover continues to be reduced because of the coronavirus, you may be eligible for further JobKeeper Payments.

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 registered, payments are based on your decline in turnover. You’ll get either $1,200 (Tier 1) or $750 (Tier 2) per fortnight for every eligible employee until 3 January 2021. Payments are then set to drop thereafter up to March 2021.

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 check the latest Government updates for further information.

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 

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