Council commits to open up outdoor dining options
Published on 15 September 2020
Mildura Rural City Council will support local hospitality businesses to safely serve diners outdoors under Third Step restrictions which come in to effect from Wednesday night.
Tourism and Economic Development Portfolio Councillor Mark Eckel said the organisation wanted to help restaurants, cafes and food outlets start operating again as soon as possible.
“We know the coronavirus pandemic has hit the hospitality sector hard – with cafes, restaurants and other food outlets facing a series of challenges due to restrictions and shut downs,” Cr Eckel said.
“These businesses are vital to our economy – they employ locals and help make our region vibrant, busy and viable.”
Under the Third Step of the Victorian Government’s roadmap to reopening, hospitality businesses will be required to mainly serve patrons outdoors with group limits of 10 people and other physical distancing requirements.
Regional Victoria will move to the Third Step from 11.59pm this Wednesday 16 September 2020.
Cr Eckel said the organisation was currently working with hospitality operators and industry representatives including Mildura Regional Development and Mildura City Heart to plan appropriate approaches to outside dinning.
“We’re keen to explore options that will suit individual operators and give them their best chance of reopening and staying open,” he said.
Concepts being considered include extending footpath dining space and exploring options that would allow for more flexible use of space in these areas.
“We know we need to act quickly and ensure operators are able to make the most of the eased restrictions.”
Local cafés, restaurants and other hospitality business operators are encouraged to make contact with Council to discuss the options that might be available to them. Council will discuss each business operators’ situation including safety requirements and liquor licencing.
“Our local business operators have faced this pandemic head on and it’s been incredible to see them adapt to the changing conditions. Those conditions look set to change yet again and we want to support them as much as possible,” Cr Eckel said.
Council has already thrown its support behind the hospitality sector by waiving 2021 Food Premises registration renewal fees for up to 601 premises in our region. Renewal fees for Footpath Trading Permits - which include outdoor dining furniture - have also been waived for 2021.