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Asia/Australia

Closed due to COVID-19 (Photo: Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash)
07 May 2020

Australian pubs and bars could be shut until September

Australia | Pubs and bars could be shut far longer than in the rest of the world. As social distancing remains a key measure in the battle against covid-19, some health experts have called for pubs and bars to be the last to reopen.

Peter Collignon, a Professor of Microbiology at the Australian National University, Canberra, has argued that because of winter approaching down under and with it the risk of people catching respiratory viruses, including covid-19, it could be September at the earliest before venues reopen.

However, the Northern Territory will be the first of Australia’s eight states and territories to significantly ease its coronavirus restrictions on the hospitality industry. This isn’t surprising as the Northern Territory is huge in size – as big as France, Spain and Italy combined – but has only 250,000 inhabitants with most of them living in Darwin, its capital. Presently, travellers seeking to enter the Northern Territory must complete 14 days of forced quarantine at a designated location.

Two hour time limit for on-premise visits

On 15 May 2020, the Northern Territory will permit locals to attend “simple and safe” indoor events and activities that can be done in less than two hours with social distancing. Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars will reopen under those time restrictions. However alcohol must be consumed with food.