While New South Wales’ streak of zero new COVID-19 cases was broken just a few days ago, the state’s numbers are still low enough to satisfy Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who has announced the dialling down of several restrictions effective this Friday, October 16.
The big winner here is now the state’s typically energetic live music scene, with outdoor seated concerts now permitted to host 500 people – up from the previous limit of 20. Organisers will still need to be vigilant with a COVID-19 Safe plan, ensuring audiences are maintaining physical distance and keeping a record of all attendees, most likely with a QR code patrons would be required to scan on entry.
Hospitality venues across the state can now head into spring with an increase in capacity, doubling the amount of guests allowed in outdoor areas by slashing the four-square-metres per person rule to just two. Notably, the capacity allowance for indoor spaces is still set at the four-square-metres rule, so cafes, restaurants, pubs, and clubs without a discernible outdoor area will still operate as they currently are.
It was also announced that further COVID-19 restrictions may be eased in the coming weeks as NSW gears up for the summer season and looks to, as treasurer Dominic Perrottet puts it, “help drive recovery and keep people in jobs”.