Under the new rules, the Driftwood Cafe will accommodate 20 people inside and 12 outdoors.
Mr Simons said the numbers would need to increase to about 50 per cent of normal capacity – which is about 100 patrons – for the venue to be financially viable without the support of JobKeeper.
But he is still excited to serve food on plates again.
“We’ve gone through an extraordinary amount of takeaway containers,” he said. “We want to use our plates again. We want people to sit down and enjoy themselves.”
Mr Simons, who is also president of the Ocean Grove Business Association, said he was working with traders and the council on a compromise arrangement to use some car parking and more footpath space for hospitality businesses in The Terrace shopping strip.
But Ocean Grove Cellars manager Isaac Fryar took issue with the prospect of losing parking spots, fearing it may deter customers.
“We don’t want to lose access to our businesses,” he said.
Mr Fryar said parking on The Terrace was particularly important during the summer influx of visitors.
The Premier said on Wednesday that hospitality businesses would receive support to expand their outdoor capacity.
But concerns about parking access for retailers loom as a challenge that may need to be managed.
In the White Hart cafe, nestled in an arcade off The Terrace, owner Alisha Cogan was trying to determine whether her walkway tables were considered outdoors. She hoped restrictions would be eased further so she could open her tiny cafe at full capacity in coming months.
“Summer’s coming. We definitely hope to be at full capacity by then,” she said.
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Some restaurants and cafes require people to have downloaded the COVIDSafe app or to provide their contact details before they can dine at the venue for contact tracing purposes, and because of customer limits, pre-bookings are recommended.
Or perhaps a nightclub?
Sorry party animals — nightclubs aren’t at the top of the list to reopen first in most places.
In Victoria, sport can resume if it’s outside, non-competitive, everyone stays at least 1.5 metres apart and there’s no more than ten people in a group — so if you can’t modify your sport so there’s no contact, it’s not allowed.
There’s some good news for Victorians sick of staying home.
Premier Daniel Andrews has today confirmed that the state will allow pubs and other eateries to reopen their doors in just a matter of weeks.
From June 1, cafes, restaurants and the dining sections of pubs will each be allowed to host a maximum of 20 patrons at a time.
“Just three weeks later, from 22 June, those patron limits will go up to 50, and in mid-July… we would look to move to 100 patrons per enclosed space,” Premier Andrews explained.
He also stressed that strict social distancing guidelines would remain in place, including 1.5 metre spacing, rigorous cleaning and a screening of staff to prevent symptomatic workers infecting customers.
On Wednesday, restrictions were relaxed to allow Victorians to have five visitors in their homes and for outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people.
But restaurants and cafes are currently still only allowed to provide takeaway, with no dining in permitted unlike other states including NSW that are now allowing venues to hope for a maximum of 10 people.
People are flocking back to beaches and dining venues after coronavirus lockdown restrictions eased in NSW today.
Award-winning Japanese restaurant Sokyo at The Star Sydney became the first high-end restaurant in Australia to open its doors with an invite-only event starting at 12.01am.
The 10 guests for the ‘opening night’ at Sokyo included Destination NSW CEO Steve Cox, Sydney City Councillor Christine Forster, former rugby league player Craig Wing and former NRL star and media personality, Beau Ryan.
Plenty of people also braved cold conditions to head to Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach for a swim or a walk.
During her regular morning update, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Friday there had been eight new cases of the coronavirus, the highest number of cases in more than a week.
However, this was from 12,200 tests in the 24 hours to 8pm Thursday, taking the state’s total to 3071. Seven people are in intensive care.
Ms Berejiklian said five of the eight new cases had been from known sources, with three of the cases involving people in quarantine in NSW.
“The remaining three were community transmission but from existing hot spots,” she said.
“One from Bondi Waverley and one from Penrith so we are asking people in those communities to come forward and get tested.”
“I know some may even have already started enjoying the new freedoms that come with easing restrictions today but that also comes with personal responsibility and I can’t stress that enough,” she said.
“Easing restrictions have failed in so many places around the world and I don’t want that to happen in New South Wales.
“I want people to have personal responsibility for the way we respond, let’s do our part in keeping everybody safe so that we can keep moving forward so that we never go backwards, that is really critical.”
NSW residents are allowed to go to pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes and places of worship from today.
Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted from Friday and up to five people, including children, can visit households.
Religious gatherings and places of worship can welcome up to 10 people while restaurants and cafes can have up to 10 patrons as long as they maintain social distancing.
Ten guests are allowed at weddings, up to 20 at indoor funerals and up to 30 at outdoor funerals.
Outdoor equipment including gyms and playgrounds can be used with caution, with people encouraged to wipe down the equipment, and outdoor pools are open with restrictions.
Randwick City Council will reopen all of its beaches for recreation from Friday, including Clovelly, Coogee and Maroubra, as well as some ocean pools.
“Really, the way we move forward now is up to us,” Ms Berejiklian said. “(Social distancing) will be part of our lives until there is a vaccine or cure, we just have to accept that. But we can appreciate our time staying at home in the main has made us all appreciate what matters most.”
“We don’t now have any confidence that people would refrain from gathering in those ways, in those pubs, clubs and nightclubs,” Mr Morrison said at a press conference in Canberra.
“We have no confidence that will be followed. So unfortunately, because guidelines can’t be followed, then for public health reasons we now need to take further action which shuts those gatherings down.”
As a result, stage one of tough new restrictions will be implemented on Monday, March 23 at noon, covering a wide range of venues that will see them shut down.
The Prime Minister said that the measures cover anything deemed a “principal place of socialisation”.
All pubs, registered and licensed clubs, and licensed premises inside hotels and pubs will close, Mr Morrison said.
In those venues, accommodation facilities can continue to operate as normal but with good hygiene and social distancing measures in place.
Entertainment venues such as theatres, cinemas, casinos and nightclubs will also shut their doors to patrons.
Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to providing takeaway only, with dining in now forbidden from midday.
“Home deliveries, takeaway, all of these things will continue, as I know many of these catering businesses are already adjusting their business models in anticipation of things that they believed would potentially take place,” Mr Morrison said.
Takeaway alcohol businesses will be able to continue operating.
Also subject to the closure order are indoor sporting venues and places of worship.
“Enclosed spaces for funerals and things of that nature will have to follow the strict four square metre rule which will be enforced,” Mr Morrison said.
The historic order could be just a taste of things to come, with the Prime Minister saying authorities would consider further restrictions if necessary.
“The premiers and chief ministers together with myself will be considering stage two restrictions in this area, but what we first want to see is we want to see the public respond to these very serious measures,” he said.
He warned that these tough new restrictions will be in place until the coronavirus crisis is brought under control.
“Once you start putting these sorts of arrangements in place, we should have the expectation that they will remain in place for at least six months,” Mr Morrison said.
“I wouldn’t want to give the impression that these arrangements are things that will be in place for a couple of weeks or a month and then will be discarded and everything will be OK. These are very significant measures.”
Shopping centres and supermarkets are not subject to the new restrictions, he said.
Mr Morrison conceded that this widespread closures will have an economic impact on businesses and could see Australians lose their jobs.
“I am deeply regretful that those workers and those business owners who will be impacted by this decision will suffer the economic hardship that undoubtably they will now have to face.
“That is a very, very regretful decision.
“But it’s a necessary one in the view of the premiers and chief ministers and myself, to ensure that we can control the spread of this virus.”
Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy had a stern message for those Australians ignoring urgent warnings about social distancing.
“If Australia is going to get through the challenge of this pandemic over the coming months, we have to live differently,” Professor Murphy said.
“We’ve been making that point very clear over the last week. But it’s clear that some people haven’t got it. I’m particularly talking to young people who may think they’re immune to the effects of this virus.
“It’s true, most young people don’t get significant disease. But as a young person, you don’t want to be responsible for the severe and possibly fatal disease of an elder, vulnerable Australian.