The Restaurant and Catering Association has put forward a proposal to the Australian Government, pushing for restaurants to be reopened to the public by June under strict and rather intense new regulations.

The proposed regulations include disposable condiments and cutlery and physical barriers to limit interaction between diners. Tables will be placed 1.5 metres away from each other. Patrons either have to pre-book with their email address, address, and contact number or, if you’re a walk-in, sign in at entry. Keep-cups or BYO containers will not be allowed and physical menus should either be disposable or laminated to allow for easy cleaning.

The proposal, obtained by Sky News, has been presented to the NSW, Victorian, South Australian, and Queensland premiers. It’s expected to be presented to the national cabinet in the near future.

Restaurant and Caterers Association CEO Wes Lambert told Sky News that social distancing in restaurants is key.

“We believe if the government says social distancing in every other venue, in grocery stores, in retail stores, then patrons should be 1.5 metres away from each other inside restaurants, which would allow restaurants to have between 50 to 60 per cent capacity, depending on how big they are.”

Scott Morrison announced the closure of non-essential facilities back in late March, restricting restaurants and cafes to takeaway and / or home delivery only.

Small businesses can now add an ‘Order Food’ or ‘Donate To’ sticker to their Instagram stories, taking followers to either a Facebook fundraiser site or a food delivery platform like UberEats, Deliveroo, or Door Dash. The move is just one of many made to support our hospitality industry.

Image: Getty Images / Asanka Ratnayake