Victorians Will Be Able To Get A Beer From The Pub Without A Meal From Next Week
People in Victoria will be able to head to the pub and knock back a couple of drinks without having to order a meal from next week (21 June).
Previously, social distancing rules in the state have required people to have food if they wanted to have a drink at the pub.
However, Premier Daniel Andrews said that promising coronavirus case numbers have meant it is safer for people to go out and socialise.
Mr Andrews said in a statement: "Because of the progress we've made - and the evidence base we've built - I can confirm those proposed changes will go ahead. It also means we're able to bring forward a number of other changes too.
"As always, timing on any future changes remains subject to the advice of our Chief Health Officer. Because as far as we've come - it's not over yet.
"And for every small step we take, our own personal responsibility grows. It's why we're asking Victorians: keep washing your hands. Keep maintaining your distance. Download COVIDSafe. And if you can keep working from home - you must do that too.
"We still want to limit the number of people moving around our state and help protect those who do have to go to the workplace."
Venues will still have to abide by the one person every four square metre rule and cannot seat any more than 50 patrons at a time, however they won't have to have food to sink a beer or wine. People will still have to give contact information to every establishment to allow for contact tracing.
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On 21 June, community halls and centres, and libraries will be able to open to 50 people, and the same number of people will be allowed to attend religious ceremonies.
The Premier has ruled that electronic gaming areas at pubs, clubs and the casino will be reopened from 20 July. There will be strict distancing, cleaning and hygiene requirements for every venue.
All sports training and competition will resume for people under 18, and non-contact sports will be able to recommence for every age group. Gyms will be able to have up to 20 people with a cap of 10 per group for those over 18.
The state's Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton said: "As we open up the hospitality industry to greater numbers, we are still recommending the density quota to apply, we still want appropriate distancing between tables, we want people's details to be recorded.
"So that if, and it may happen occasionally, if there is a case identified as having been to a restaurant or cafe, or elsewhere, pubs or clubs, we will be able to follow up those close contacts."
It comes as New South Wales also flags changes to social distancing rules.
From 1 July, the indoor gathering rule of 50 people per venue will be replaced with the four-square-metre density rule. That means larger venues will be able to cater for more punters.
Outdoor cultural and sporting venues that can hold up to 40,000 people will be allowed to seat a quarter of their normal capacity.
Featured Image Credit: PA