PLEASE SHARE: Auckland Council on Outdoor Dining Spaces during Pandemic Era. Also more should be done by Auckland Transport, and Panuku

Outdoor dining to be made more streamed line. Pressure continues on Auckland Transport

The following is from Auckland Council in regards to outdoor dining spaces in reaction to the Omicron situation. All questions should be referred to them:

COVID-19 Orange setting – Guidance for hospitality businesses

Operating under COVID-19 Protection Framework restrictions

Opening food premises under COVID-19 Orange setting without requirements for vaccine passes

Cafes and restaurants that will not be requiring customers to show vaccine passes can be open at COVID-19 Orange setting, but only for contactless pick-up, delivery or drive through.

Customers are not allowed to dine in where businesses are not meeting the vaccine pass requirements.

Setting up for contactless pick-up

Customers without vaccine passes are not allowed to enter cafes and restaurants.

We encourage businesses to:

  • set up their contactless pick-up outside the front of their premises
  • try to stay within 60cm of the shopfront to allow enough space on the pavement for people to safely pass
  • take a sensible approach so that areas around their premises remain safe for customers and the general public.
Licences to trade in front of the premises

You will not need a street trading licence to use the area in front of your business for contactless pick-ups during COVID-19 Orange setting.

For the Government’s advice on safely running a hospitality venue in Tāmaki Makaurau under the Protection Framework settings, see Unite Against COVID-19.

Opening food and alcohol premises under COVID-19 Red setting with requirements for vaccine passes

Cafes, restaurants, bars and night clubs can open for fully vaccinated patrons only, with no restrictions.

There are no limits on the number of people who can be at the venue, and they do not have to be seated to be served. Children under the age of 12 years and 3 months do not need to provide a My Vaccine Pass to enter places with a vaccination requirement.

Alcohol licences

Requests for fast track alcohol licence applications

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act has strict requirements for alcohol licensing.

Auckland Council can’t fast track any application for a new licence or variation to an existing licence.

The Act requires all applications (new and variations) to have input from the police and Medical Officer of Health. There is also provision for objections by the general public. All applications are then considered by the District Licensing Committee.

There are currently delays in the police and Medical Officer of Health responding to applications with resources diverted to the COVID-19 response.

Apply for a licence or a variation to a licence – advice for businesses

Email if you want to apply for a new licence (including a special licence) or variation to an existing alcohol licence.

These are the current requirements under COVID-19 Orange setting, which businesses are working towards. These are subject to change following a further government announcement.

Outdoor dining licences

To support hospitality businesses, we will automatically extend – without cost – existing food-only outdoor dining licences issued under the Trading and Events in Public Places Bylaw.

The extension will last until Auckland reaches COVID-19 Green setting, or until 18 February 2022 (whichever comes first).

Application fees and rental fees will also not be charged for this period.

You don’t need to contact us to receive this extension. If your licence expires during this period, you can continue to use the area outlined in the licence under the same conditions, without needing to renew.

If you wish to renew, you still can. You will receive your new 12-month licence at the end of the extension period.

New applications approved during this period will not receive the extension.

Requests for fast track outdoor dining licence applications for food only

To help businesses make use of outdoor space, if they are not already doing so, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are committed to fast tracking new licences and extensions to food-only outdoor dining applications during COVID-19 Orange setting.

Applications for use of the footpath or other public space outside businesses will be considered.

How to apply for a fast track outdoor dining licence for food only

Email to apply for a new outdoor dining street trading licence or an amendment to an existing licence to support COVID-19 Orange setting activities.

Auckland Council will facilitate the applications to the various agencies.

Auckland Council and Auckland Transport will consider the requirements of the Trading and Events in Public Places Bylaw, focusing on the proposed operation, location, and accessibility for pedestrians and other users of the footpath.

Additional street trading space will be considered if an application complies with all the operating parameters including all COVID-19 requirements.

What businesses extending their outdoor trading area need to be aware of

Our number one priority is ensuring that our trading environments and streets continue to be safe for everyone.

We ask that businesses are considerate of others and allow clear space for pedestrians.

We will also take a pragmatic approach to bars, cafes and restaurants using more space than normal to allow for increased use of outdoor spaces during COVID-19 Orange setting.

Businesses should also ensure there are no obstructions that would prevent an emergency response, including:

  • ensuring spaces around premises are kept clear of any hazards that may cause trips or other harm to customers or members of the public
  • making regular checks to ensure that all pedestrians, including those using mobility devices or prams, can easily move through the area and are not impeded by furniture or shop displays
  • being aware of any obstructions or groupings of people that may prevent an emergency response.

Where complaints are received from members of the public or property owners about unsafe practices, we will respond accordingly.

See Amendments to an outdoor dining licence for more information.

Source: Auckland Council

Pressure on Auckland Transport to convert parking spaces to outdoor dining spaces

Meanwhile pressure is on Auckland Transport to allow the easy conversion of onstreet parking spaces to dining spaces. As we know from overseas practice that is not the car nor parking space that brings the revenue but rather the opposite. I have picked up Auckland Transport might be allowing such onstreet conversions but this is not publicly advertised, hence the pressure continues on Auckland Transport.

Meanwhile I was forward this from the States on universal, easy-to-do policy guide on outdoor dining. It is that straightforward Panukau and Auckland Transport should be doing this as Standard Operating Procedure.

So here is the picture, and full version of that guide:

Outdoor dining and the streets – a visual guide. Source: City of Philadelphia

The full version:

Very straight forward with Council, Auckland Transport, Panuku, and Auckland Unlimited all should be getting onboard with any applications received processed in 10 days at ZERO cost to the Applicant. NO BUSINESS CASES ALLOWED. Might also want to have it written into the Auckland Plan as well!

The tools are there it is time for everyone to use them as we continue the third year of the Pandemic!