The new rules: enjoying wine in and out, state by state

Coronavirus restrictions are easing, with several changes set to take place from June 1.

While physical distancing, proper hand hygiene and exercising caution are still essential, some restrictions on activities like drinking and dining out, sharing wine with friends, and travel to your favourite wine regions are set to relax in the coming weeks.

We breakdown the changes to take place across the country below. The situation is continually evolving, but for now, this is the state of play.

Go to your state: NSW | VIC | QLD | TAS | SA | WA

New South Wales

Drinking and dining venues can host up to 50 people at a time from June 1. But before you get carried away imagining you and everyone you know milling around a bar sipping wine, there are some caveats. Guests need to be seated at a table, no matter the type of place, and there will be no mingling. Venues will be required to keep the groups within their spaces small, following the rule of one person every four-square-metres, and enforcing physical distancing of 1.5 metres. It’s still a maximum of 10 people per booking, and you’re encouraged to make one.

In exciting news, regional travel is on the cards from June 1, so you can start planning a local wine trip. While touring, the same rules outlined for venues will apply in cellar doors and wineries.

If you’re a bit shy about heading out, you can socialise at home, but the current rules remain the same. You can invite five people over for dinner and wine, and gather outside with a total of 10 people (with yourself factored into that number). It’s best to keep anyone vulnerable off the guest list, though (for an all-inclusive get-together, look to our virtual event guide).

In brief:

• Drinking and dining venues can host up to 50 people from June 1, but they must keep groups small, enforce physical distancing, and meet rigorous hygiene and safety requirements. For you, this means booking ahead, a party size of no more than 10, being seated at a table, keeping a safe distance and washing your hands.
• Regional travel is allowed from June 1, but if you’re planning on visiting cellar doors and wineries, the same rules as above apply.
• Socialising at home and in outdoor spaces will remain the same for now – 10 people can gather outside, and five people plus the members of your household (including children) indoors.


This state has been one of the strictest over the past couple of months, but it will offer quite a few more freedoms from June 1. You are currently able to invite five people into your home, but that will soon expand to a party-sized total of 20. The 20-person rule will extend to outdoor gatherings and venues, too.

If you’re excited to get back to your local wine bar or restaurant, with a maximum of 20 people allowed in-house at any one time, you’ll probably want to book. Visitors to venues will also need to provide contact details for tracing purposes. Once there, you’ll be seated at tables 1.5 metres apart and asked to be safe and mindful of those around you. There is potential for the number of people allowed in the one space to grow significantly from June 21 and again in mid-July, so keep an eye out for updates.

You’ll also be able to book an overnight stay in a local wine region from June 1, with all accommodation opening back up. The one proviso is that many communal facilities at holiday sites will be off-limits.

In brief:

• You can have a total of 20 people in your home from June 1, with this number to include you and your family or others who share the space.
• Twenty people can gather outdoors from June 1.
• You can head out to your local bar, restaurant or pub from June 1, but given the maximum of 20 people at once, you will probably want to book. You will need to provide contact details, be seated at a table and exercise the usual precautions.
• From June 1, you can travel to a local wine region and book overnight stays.


Queensland won’t be following other states in making significant changes from June 1, but it has some other key dates to mark on the calendar.

The status quo for Queenslanders is five visitors in addition to household members, and gatherings with a total of 10 people outside and at venues. At this stage, travel for recreational reasons is limited to day trips no further than 150 kilometres from your home. These restrictions vary slightly in outback areas.

From June 12, though, you will be able to travel within the state for a holiday and have up to 20 people inside homes, venues and outdoors – a number that could increase fivefold come early July. All of these activities have continuing conditions around physical distancing, hand hygiene, a maximum of one person every four-square-metres indoors, and a strict cleaning regimen.

In brief:

• For now, you may invite five people into your home, and gather outside and at venues with 10.
• You cannot travel further than 150 kilometres from home or stay overnight away at the moment, but from June 12, you will be able to holiday in the state up to 250 kilometres from your home.
• Twenty people will be allowed in residences, at eating and drinking venues, and to gather in public spaces from June 12.
• From July 10, the restrictions could lift significantly, allowing up to 100 people in any one place.


The Apple Isle won’t be lifting restrictions from June 1, but there are updates to come June 9 and potential changes from June 15. 

At the moment, the situation is similar to the rest of the eastern states – you can invite five people into your home and gather with 10 in outdoor spaces and at venues. From June 15, however, pending how the situation progresses, the number for drinking, dining and gathering outside the home changes to 20.

Travel is not allowed at this stage, except for driving up to 30 kilometres from your home to exercise. So unless you’re planning on running between cellar doors, wine region visits are on hold for now (and even if you did have a wine marathon in mind, in seriousness, that’s probably off the cards as well). After June 15, though, you should be able to plan a road trip or an overnight getaway. Stage three plans are in place for July 13, so keep checking for updates.

In brief:

• You can invite five people to your home, and gather with 10 outdoors or at venues.
• From June 15, up to 20 people should be able to visit venues and outdoor spaces.
• Travel is on hold for now, but after June 15, you may be able to plan a trip locally.
• Stage three announcements are currently scheduled for July 13.

South Australia

South Australia has been especially successful with curbing the coronavirus and is currently enjoying freedoms more than most, including being able to travel within the state. Given the wealth of popular regions within easy reach, this is a fortunate situation for South Australian wine lovers.

This state will also see some of the biggest changes from June 1, with up to 80 people allowed in wine and food venues from this date. That might seem like a lot, but it’s on the proviso that people will be contained to groups of 20, with safety and hygiene measures in place. At a winery, this might mean 20 in the restaurant, 20 in the tasting room, and so on, depending on whether each space can facilitate the rule of one person per four-square-metres. Like elsewhere, service will be seated to discourage crowding and better control physical distancing.

In brief:

• South Australians are already able to travel to wine regions and holiday within the state.
• Stage two kicks off from June 1, which means up to 80 people in venues, dependent on the rule of one person every four-square-metres, with a limit of 20 per room or group.

Western Australia

Western Australia has done well to contain its coronavirus cases and has been enjoying having up to 20 people in homes, outdoor spaces and venues for a couple of weeks now. Although when going out, drinks are being served with meals only.

The west coast’s vast expanse initially saw internal travel restricted through the creation of 13 bordered regions, but now, that has been reduced to just four. From May 29, all regional travel restrictions will lift, with the exception of some zones in the Kimberley region and indigenous communities. More updates will be announced in the coming weeks.

In brief:

• There is a 20-person rule in place for most spaces, including at home, in venues and outdoors. If you go out for a glass of wine, it has to be with a meal.
• Travel restrictions within the state will lift from May 29, save for a few remote protected areas and parts of the Kimberley region.