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Hundreds of outdoor dining permits granted as eateries hold out hope for Sunday’s announcement

Hundreds of pubs, cafes and restaurants across the CBD have already been granted special outdoor dining permits, despite the Premier’s hints that Sunday’s rule relaxation will not include the reopening of businesses.

The council permits will allow eateries to trade on footpaths, and in laneways, parks and car parks.

Lord mayor Sally Capp said she doesn’t have any special insight into what will be announced on the weekend, but she wants to make sure businesses are ready to reopen the moment the rules are eased.

“I have a lot of hope. No inside information at this point,” she told Ross and Russel.

“What we are saying at the City of Melbourne is that as soon as the Premier says ‘Go’, we have done everything we can to ensure businesses can open safely.

“We’ve been making sure we’re working with pubs, cafes and restaurants to be as ready as possible.”

Applications for outdoor dining permits opened on October 1, and the council has received almost 50 applications per day since then.

“We’ve worked our way through about 70 per cent of those,” Ms Capp said.

The council is also expanding footpaths to avoid crowding as people return to the city.

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