Chin up, Melbourne. We've got some good news.
Got a hankering for a trip to New York City? Well in some good news for Melburnians, NYC is coming to you. And by that we mean New York’s Open Restaurants initiative – a program designed to help hospitality venues impacted by COVID-19 get back on their feet.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp says the City of Melbourne is keen to introduce an adapted version of NYC’s innovative plan, which allows restaurants to spill on to adjacent footpaths and laneways. This will allow venues to seat large numbers of customers while making sure physical distancing guidelines are followed. The outside air will also ensure any risk of infection via airborne particles is minimised. Brilliant. Have a squiz at NYC’s full guidelines here.
Capp stresses that businesses in the CBD have been hit extra hard by the city’s stay-at-home orders. "Businesses are working hard to do the right thing and it's crucial we work together to provide some certainty and clarity for the future", she told The Age. As soon as restrictions are lifted, she’s keen to roll out initiatives to draw people back. There is also talk of allowing businesses to serve alcohol to patrons sitting outside.
Sounds pretty nice, hey? And just in time for the warmer weather.
Melbourne may be nearing its final days of stage four lockdown, with Victorian Premier Dan Andrews set to announce his ‘roadmap to reopening’ this Sunday. At the time of writing, stage four restrictions are due to expire on September 13.
Unfortunately, Dan has not ruled out the possibility that current restrictions will continue beyond that date.
But hey, we can dream. Here's hoping for some laneway dining very soon.
If your head is a little scrambled, make sure you pop over to WHO.int to get all of your official COVID-19 updates.
Main Image Credit: Licensed by Getty