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When will bars and restaurants open again in Australia? 

It’s been weeks since we went out and sat in a restaurant for dinner, or attended a cocktail bar. At this point, a lot of us are probably wondering if we still know how to be human “out there”.

As the federal government’s three-stage roadmap to recovery has been laid out, we know the majority of states and territories will not be opening shop properly until stage three. In saying that, this roadmap to recovery is a copy and paste document and the premiers and chief minister have the right to make their own decisions. 

At this point, restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs are still considering how they will open, while others are beginning to dip the toes in, under new limiting circumstances.

Here is what we know about when bars and restaurants will open again across Australia.

New South Wales

Restaurants and cafes, as well as pubs and clubs that are attached to restaurants, will be opening for 10 patrons at a time in NSW from today, May 15. 

Since March, restaurants and cafes have been allowed to operate on a takeaway-only basis. Many of these businesses have had to shut down completely due to the coronavirus lockdown and the restrictions attached to it. 

While restaurants and bars are currently opening back up, social distancing guidelines need to remain in place. This means patrons will need to maintain a 1.5-metre distance from others visiting these establishments. 


Restaurants and cafes may continue to operate on a takeaway basis in Victoria, but a definitive date has not yet been set for restaurants, pubs and clubs to re-open their doors for dine-in patrons.

In his latest announcement, Premier Daniel Andrews said Victorians are now allowed to visit family and friends in limited numbers, but said: “It is not an invitation to be having a dinner party at every house every night, we have to use our common sense. We have to be proportionate, recognise that this is far from over.”

Further announcements on social distancing guidelines will be announced in June but there are no certainties around when restaurants, pubs and clubs will fully re-open in Victoria.


From today, May 15, Queenslanders will be allowed to attend restaurants and cafes in groups of up to 10 people.

From June, residents of Queensland will be allowed to dine in at restaurants, clubs and pubs in groups of up to 20 people, if there is a ‘COVID safe plan’ in place and safe social distancing is practised. 

Western Australia 

From May 18, restaurants, pubs, bars, community clubs and casinos will be able to seat 20 patrons at a time. 

The four-square-metre rule will apply here, and the 20 patrons allowed to attend will include those sitting indoors and outdoors, as well as staff. 


From May 18, restaurants and cafes, including bars that are attached to hotels, will be allowed to open for 10 patrons at a time, with strict social distancing in place. 

South Australia 

From June 8, restaurants and restaurants with pubs are expected to open their doors to 10 patrons at a time.

From June 8, other recreational businesses and services such as gyms, cinemas, art galleries and museums are also expected to open their doors to 10 patrons at a time. 

Australian Capital Territory 

From May 16, cafes and restaurants will be able to seat 10 patrons at a time. Currently, there is no details about when pubs or clubs will open in the Australian Capital Territory. 

Northern Territory 

From May 15, restaurants, clubs, pubs and cafes are allowed to open their doors to an unlimited number of patrons (with strict social distancing in place) for a maximum of two hours per visit to each establishment.

Social distancing updates

Read: Coronavirus in Australia | Morrison’s three-stage plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions