Outdoor dining trading to return to pre-covid trading conditions

Media release

Temporary expanded outdoor dining measures will come to an end in the coming months, in line with changes to Victorian Government legislation.

Businesses have been advised that as of Friday June 30 they will need to extend their Temporary Liquor Licence to continue to serve alcohol in an expanded outdoor dining area and as of Thursday October 12 all expanded outdoor dining will end.

After this time, all business that have taken up the use of car parks will return to pre-COVID outdoor trading conditions and use only the footpath out the front of their stores, while Bull Street will open to traffic on both sides. All car parks will be made available again for motorists.

Director Strategy and Growth Steve Hamilton said expanded outdoor dining had been invaluable during the pandemic, however businesses had slowly returned to normal trading.

“There are 14 businesses still making use of expanded outdoor dining, down from 51 businesses at the height of the pandemic,” Mr Hamilton said.

“It was a critical support to the hospitality industry at the time and allowed businesses to open sooner, trade safely and keep staff employed. But as we have learnt to live with COVID, expanded outdoor dining has become less necessary and the legislation that supported it is winding up in October.

“The City has written to businesses three times this year to remind them of the upcoming changes.

“In the coming months, staff will review the Outdoor Dining and Street Trading Code of Practice and engage with affected businesses. This process will consider what options may be available long term to support expanded outdoor dining, should a business want to change their outdoor trading conditions in the future.

“The City acknowledges the great effort hospitality businesses have gone to over the past few years to adapt to challenging and changing times, and thanks them for their understanding regarding this change.”

Greater Bendigo