NTIA releases its proposed reopening principles for hospitality (26.05.20)
We’ve been busy these past few weeks working in collaboration with independent hospitality businesses – of all shapes and sizes – to develop NTIA’s principles and guidelines for the re-opening of hospitality businesses as part of the sector’s recovery.
We were ready to submit these to State Governments for consideration on Friday but between NSW Government announcement on Friday and Victoria’s release of guidelines today had to rethink our approach as the landscape was shifting rapidly.
Thus they have been submitted this afternoon to the NSW Government at multiple levels as a first step. We will be engaging with Victoria in the next 24 hours as we seek to start influencing outcomes there as well.
We have argued for a principles based approach rather than a one size all prescriptive approach as has been the experience in NSW to date.
Every venue is different. Small cafes, bars, restaurants through to large scale pubs and live music venues: a one-size-fits-all approach to reopening will not work.
Our principles for re-opening have been informed largely by the approach that has been adopted in NZ, are a road map for returning to some (new) normality, whilst adhering to public health measures.
Learnings from New Zealand.
A few key points about the current NZ model:
NZ venues are permitting trade up to 100 pax already. There is no 4sqm rule. Instead, the NZ system relies on physical distancing (with an absolute minimum of 1 metre, more if you can manage it) and a maximum group size of 10; and
Small bars and venues were stakeholders in their consultation process, and we believe this has helped find a workable solution that allows more venues to trade viably. Thus, the NZ system permits patronage at bars without a meal.
There are some wider benefits of adopting an approach along the lines we are suggesting. They are as follows:
NZ is a relate-able market which has a staged approach to reopening. It is ahead of us in the pandemic, and is generally seen as having handled things well and pragmatically; and
Uniform hospitality trading rules across the Eastern States and NZ play well to the Australia/NZ travel bubble and economic recovery discussion, allowing for more efficient administration and marketing communication.
Core to our Government ask is certainty around a roadmap so that businesses can plan their next 6 months trading which is going to be difficult at best.