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May 25, 2020

You can head to the pub for a beer from 1 June

Premier Steven Marshall has announced the stage 2 easing of restrictions will now happen on Monday, 1 June, with venue capacity raising to 80 patrons and the service of alcohol no longer being tied to the service of food.

  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Main image: Andy Nowell


In the last week, a flood of news of easing coronavirus restrictions has cascaded from the mouth of the Premier like water crashing to the bottom of First Falls at Waterfall Gully after a heavy rain.

It has been a deluge and CityMag is soaked.

The most recent update is incredibly consequential for people fond of heading to their favourite licensed venue for a quick tipple.

The first bit of good news announced by the Premier on Monday, 25 May, is the stage 2 easing of restrictions have been brought forward to Monday, 1 June.

This date has jumped around a whole lot in the last fortnight, so we’re just going to sidestep the confusion by opting not to recount all its previous steps. For a quick rundown, visit our siblings at InDaily.

The next bit of good news: from 1 June, all venues can have up to 80 patrons at any one time; however, these patrons must be spread throughout what the premier has called “discreet areas or rooms”, each with a 20-person limit. The 4sqm rule also still applies, so each patron must be afforded adequate space.

To explain, a café with only a single dining room will be able to seat a maximum of 20 patrons. A restaurant with two areas (a seated lounge area separated from its dining room) will be able to seat 20 people in each area, totalling 40 patrons. A pub with three areas (a separated front bar, dining room and lounge, for example) will be able to seat 20 people in each zone, totalling a maximum of 60 patrons. And should a venue have four separated areas, the maths gets you to 80 patrons.

It is worth stressing once more: in all circumstances, every patron must still be afforded 4sqm. The ultimate capacity of any venue will depend on its size. The 80-person capacity does not include staff working at the venue.

And a final bit of good news: from 1 June, all licensed venues will be allowed to serve alcohol without the accompaniment of food, so long as the patrons are seated.

In the Premier’s press conference, he stated this applied to “pubs”, however a spokesperson for the Premier later clarified to CityMag over email that this would apply to “any establishment with a liquor licence”.

This is a significant step in the hospitality industry’s emergence from its induced coma, and so understandably there have been some in the hospitality community urging patrons to spend their time and money wisely.

Sitting for an hour sipping a single glass of wine inside an establishment that can only legally seat 20 people at once is perhaps not doing a lot to help them get back into the black.

But God it sounds like a nice time, hey?

There were a couple of other non-hospitality changes flagged in Monday’s announcement – for example, the cap on funeral attendance will be raised to 50 people, and contact training for sports will also make a return. Future announcements on gaming and larger venues, zoos, galleries and museums were also mentioned.

For the full rundown, check out InDaily’s rolling coronavirus coverage.

CityMag is also doing its part to help you navigate the new operating order of your favourite hospitality venues, offering lists of cafés, bars and restaurants reopening in the CBD.

We’re updating the lists as venues get back to us with their changing plans, so we (and they) appreciate your patience.

If you own a café, bar or restaurant and want to be in the list, get in touch.

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