The Hospitality Messenger

Special Edition No.10

The Hospitality Messenger is very conscious of WA’s liquor, hospitality, event and tourism industries being hit hard by the current COVID-19 situation and is committed to providing as much support as possible.

The COVID-19 gates are opening wider!

From this Saturday, 6 June 2020, restrictions on businesses operating in the liquor, hospitality and tourism industries will be further reduced as the State Government implements Phase 3 of the COVID-19 recovery plan.  Phase 3 should enable some additional, much needed trading opportunity.  

Any business wishing to offer on-site services from this weekend will need to be properly prepared in order to be able to do so compliantly.

Businesses that have been trading under the very narrow regime of the last couple of weeks should find it easier and quicker than others to adapt to the latest regulations as many rules that came into effect mid May 2020 will continue to apply. 

Businesses that have remained closed over the last couple of months and have not, for example, prepared a COVID-19 Safety Plan, or spaced out furniture to enable social distancing, will need to do so if opening this weekend.

Key new Phase 3 rules

  • Up to 100 patrons permitted on the premises at any one time in one single undivided area (up from 20 patrons)
  • Up to 300 patrons permitted on the premises at any one time across an entire venue with multiple separate areas each housing up to 100 patrons (increased from 20 patrons)
  • Patrons may purchase and consume liquor on licensed premises without having to do so ancillay to a proper meal
  • There must be at least 2m2 of space per patron (reduced from 4m2)

Key previous recent restrictions and limitations still applicable under Phase 3

  • Everyone on the premises must be socially distanced by 1.5m (except for people who live in the same house)
  • All staff and managers must complete COVID-19 hygeine training.  Click here to access.
  • All businesses wishing to trade must have completed a COVID-19 Safety Plan (click here) and keep the Plan at the premises for inspection and display a COVID-19 Safety Plan Certificate (click here) - these may need to be revised to reflect patron capacity under Phase 3
  • Patrons must be seated at all times when eating and drinking
  • Maintain patron attendance records by collecting contact details of all patrons for contact tracing purposes
  • Maintain a heightened level of cleanliness and hygeine

Click here to access the State Government’s latest published guidelines and here for previous publications of The Hospitality Messenger on this topic.

Some of the FAQs anticipated by The Hospitality Messenger in relation to the new Phase 3 rules are answered as follows:

Q: Are nightclubs included in this phase?
Q: Are nightclubs included in this phase?

A: Yes.

Q: What qualifies as a “single undivided space”?
Q: What qualifies as a “single undivided space”?

A: There is no definition, policy or guideline on this.  The Hospitality Messenger has sought clarification from the State Government.  At this stage it is understood that an undivided space simply means an area that has no clear physical demarcations within it to separate or segregate it.

Q: Who is to be counted in the 100/300 patron limit?
Q: Who is to be counted in the 100/300 patron limit?

A: Anyone who is a seated patron/customer. Staff, licensees, authorised people (eg Police), crowd controllers and take-away customers who are waiting outside of the dining.

Q: My venue has two different and separate “undivided spaces”. One is a dining room and the other a small drinking bar. Only the dining room has tables and chairs for patrons to sit. Can I serve seated dine-in patrons in the dining room and stand-up drinking patrons in the separate bar?
Q: My venue has two different and separate “undivided spaces”. One is a dining room and the other a small drinking bar. Only the dining room has tables and chairs for patrons to sit. Can I serve seated dine-in patrons in the dining room and stand-up drinking patrons in the separate bar?

A: You cannot serve stand-up drinking customers in the bar because although the new rules do not require patrons to order a meal, they must still be seated. You would need to provide seating in the bar area and require patrons in that area to sit whilst drinking.

Q: Do patrons who are just drinking need to sit at a dining table or can they sit at the bar or in a lounge chair?
Q: Do patrons who are just drinking need to sit at a dining table or can they sit at the bar or in a lounge chair?

A: The new rules do not specify.  The Hospitality Messenger has sought clarification on this point from the State Government.  At this stage, it seems that any kind of seat will suffice.

Q: My licence has conditions on it from years ago that are more restrictive than some of the new Phase 3 rules. Do I just comply with the Phase 3 requirements or do I still have to comply with the old conditions on my particular licence?
Q: My licence has conditions on it from years ago that are more restrictive than some of the new Phase 3 rules. Do I just comply with the Phase 3 requirements or do I still have to comply with the old conditions on my particular licence?

A: The old licence conditions that are more restrictive still apply.   


Click here to access answers to relevant FAQs previously published by The Hospitality Messenger.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE HOSPITIALITY MESSENGER PDF