The Restaurant Association of New Zealand has announced urgent updates to its guidelines that incorporate new information as a result of the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level 2) Order 2020 which is now in force.

Access the updated guidelines here.

“There has been an order that was released that incorporates some changes – however, we are getting other points clarified as this contravenes some of the work that was carried out with government officials for our industry,” the association said in a statement.

“We have been in touch with Minister Faafoi, who has followed up with the Minister of Police. As this is an enforcement issue he has also confirmed he will talk to the appropriate people and follow up with MBIE.”

Changes outlined below:

  • The Act says ensure a single server – however, we have had confirmation that it is  ‘where possible’…
  • It also says customers must be seated - however, counter service was approved by MBIE and the Ministry of Health for small to medium food-based business.

“We worked with officials on these guidelines and are in discussions again with them now.”

From 14th May 2020, the Order specifies:

Businesses such as restaurants or cafes must:

  • Permit no more than 100 customers or clients to be in the premises at any one time (excluding staff)
  • Ensure that each customer or client is seated at a table (other than when entering, using a toilet or bathroom, paying, or departing)
  • Ensure that no more than 10 customers or clients are seated at a table together
  • Ensure that adjacent tables are arranged so there is at least a 1-metre separation between the seated customers or clients at adjacent tables
  • Ensure that only 1 worker serves at any table
  • Keep records to enable contact tracing of customers or clients who enter the workplace or use its service

From 14th May until 8am on 21st May, in the case of on-licence premises, the business needs to ensure that No alcohol is supplied on the premises unless the buyer is a customer or client present on the premises to dine

While there is no definition of what constitutes “to dine”, it is considered that the food should be something more than snack food. So if you have a group of three we would expect that each person would have a plate of food in front of them. 

Please also remember that in bar, or club, environments, food and drinks must be ordered by table service and not from the counter area.

You can read the Restaurant Association’s answers to some FAQs surrounding operation at Level 2 here.