Updated 14/4/2020

It has been an epic journey to get to this point, but finally there is clarity.  All roadhouses are able to open for dine in for Heavy Vehicle Drivers, as long as they meet the space and cleaning restrictions.

For those who have been following along this is the end of a long and frustrating journey, see; for more on the path that led to here.  But today there is celebration as all States have effected the moves they needed to do to ensure that the Truckies of the country have the opportunity to sit, rest and eat at the nations roadhouses.

National Exemption

The National Exemption, https://acapmag.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Non-Essential-Services-Exemption-Rest-Stop-Facilities.pdf outlined responsibilities for drivers and for sites, to ensure high levels of cleaning and social distancing.

Roadhouses, that is fuel retail sites that offer dine in meals, are able to offer dine in meals in addition to take away, as long as they can demonstrate that they are meeting the Safe Roadhouse Dining requirements;

  • Tables are only for Heavy Vehicle Drivers  
  • Tables are at least 3 metres away from each other and the counter
  • There is no more than 1 chair at each table
  • There are no more than X  customers in the dining/ordering area at a time (maximum of one at the counter and one at each of the tables)
  • All tables and chairs are cleaned and sanitised after any use and otherwise at least hourly

ANY ROADHOUSE THAT CANNOT MEET THESE REQURIEMENTS SHOULD REMOVE ALL TABLES AND CHAIRS AND SHOULD SERVE TAKE AWAY MEALS ONLY

For Truckies Lounge Areas;

  • Social distance should be maintained
  • Tables and chairs should be cleaned and sanitised after any use and otherwise at least hourly
  • Showers and other facilities should be cleaned between use

Note:  for seating that cannot be sanitised, such as soft furnishings like couches, they should be covered with plastic cover that can be sanitised or should be removed or otherwise noted as not for use.

State Exemption (and requirements)

In addition to the National Exemption the States have issued their own exemptions, some with specific requirements;

What should Roadhouses be doing now?

  1. Assess if you can still offer dining and meet the Safe Roadhouse Dining requirements (if you cannot then you should restrict to Take-away only)
  2. Understand the additional requirements in your State (see above)
  3. Set a cleaning and sanitising schedule that includes the dining areas and communicate to your staff
  4. Post the Keeping Customers and Staff Safe – Dine In Posters prominently in the Dine in area to communicate expectations and ensure compliance – Click here for a copy of the poster; https://acapmag.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Keeping-Customers-and-Staff-Safe-Dine-In-Trukkies-Only.pdf
  5. Decommission or mark with the Keeping Customers and Staff Safe – DO NOT SITE HERE posters, any furniture that can not be moved or used in accordance with the Safe Roadhouse Dining requirements – this could include outdoor seating that can not have chairs removed or can not be sanitised effectively, or even furniture in Truckies Lounges that can not be sanitised but is impractical to remove. Click here for a copy of the poster; https://acapmag.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Keeping-Customers-and-Staff-Safe-DO-NOT-SIT-HERE.pdf
  6. Plan to review the effectiveness of the posters and furniture in achieving appropriate social distancing

Enforcement Issues

It is expected that now that there is clarity there will be no more incidents of confusion with enforcement agencies, however members are asked to contact ACAPMA if there is any confusion at the enforcement level – remember, comply with instructions, but then reach out to ACAPMA and we will assist with addressing the issue.

A Roadhouse is not a restaurant, it is a retail fuel site that also serves dine in food.  As such it is not subject to the lockdowns that applied to restaurants. HOWEVER, the expansion of the contagion control measures have resulted in a clear indication that we need to, as an industry, ensure that we and the public are doing our part to flatten the curve.

Roadhouses are an essential part of the rest and relief plan for the country’s truck drivers and mobile workers, offering a place to stretch, rest and refuel, not just their vehicles, but their bodies and minds.  There is an old saying that ‘without trucks, Australia stops’, it is a truth that is even more pressing in light of the current crisis faced by the nation and retail fuel sites, including Roadhouses, play an important role in keeping the trucks moving.  Retail Fuel Sites and Roadhouses remain open for business with a continued focus on keeping our customers and communities safe.