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Show the app or leave your number: Restaurant industry pushes plan to reopen in June

Restaurants and cafes could open to diners in early June if patrons agree to show they’ve downloaded the COVIDSafe app, or give their name and phone number when entering an eatery.

The hospitality industry has unveiled a blueprint for reopening early next month, with about half as many diners as usual.

Under the plan submitted to the national cabinet, diners would be required to be seated 1.5 metres apart, but the current rule allowing just one patron per four square metres would be ditched.

Patrons would also need to prove they have downloaded the tracing app, or provide contact details before dining.

CEO of Restaurant and Catering Australia, Wes Lambert, said it wouldn’t be a big change for diners.

“The restaurant industry has been taking bookings on paper for 100 years … so it’s nothing strange or new to restaurants to actually take peoples name and phone number as they’re entering,” he told 3AW’s Ross and John.

The industry is lobbying the government to relax current restrictions so they fall in line with social distancing rules in place in other industries.

“We have social distancing in offices, we have social distancing in government buildings, we have social distancing in industrial buildings, in grocery stores and retail stores,” Mr Lambert said.

“We thought it was imperative that same measure was applied fairly and equally across all businesses, which includes keeping tables 1.5 metres away form each other, which is the standard social distancing required.”

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