NSW scraps 50-person pub rule
NSW will scrap the limit of 50 people at indoor venues such as cafes, restaurants and churches on July 1, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed.
Announcing the state would implement the next stage of its reopening plan, Ms Berejiklian said today the state would enforce a four-square-metre rule at venues, meaning the number of patrons would only be limited by the size of indoor venues.
"From 1 July, I am very pleased to say that the four square metre rule will apply to all indoor venues," Ms Berejiklian in a live press conference today.
"That all venues which currently have upper limit restrictions will have no restrictions as long as those businesses comply to strict social distancing guidelines and the checklist that has been outlined through service New South Wales.
The Premier clarified the rule would apply to places of worship as well as hospitality venues.
But there's a drawback.
"If you go somewhere to have dinner or to partake another activity, you have to be seated," Ms Berejiklian explained.
"We know from overseas experience that it is when people mingle unintentionally or when there are certain activities where the virus spreads, all the activity in the hospitality venues needs to continue to be seated to make sure everybody is safe."
The state will also allow outdoor cultural and sporting venues with capacity of up to 40,000 people to seat 25 per cent of their normal capacity, paving the way for crowds to return to ticketed events such as football with physical distancing.
The 20-person rule for inside homes and outdoor gatherings remains in place.
Today's announcement comes as NSW recorded four new COVID-19 cases, including a case reported on Friday in a Rose Bay Public School after-school care worker.
Two of the new cases confirmed on Saturday were in return travellers who are in hotel quarantine, and the other case was a locally-acquired infection in a man in his 20s, the first case of community acquired COVID-19 in the state for more than two weeks.
At the same press conference, NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant had a warning particularly for Sutherland Shire residents in Sydney's south.
"We are requesting that anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 come forward for testing" she said.
"In particular, we ask people in the Sutherland local government area to come forward for testing irrespective of the severity of your symptoms.
"If you have mild symptoms, please come forward for testing, as we are trying to unearth any undiagnosed transmission occurring in the community."
She advised Sutherland shire residents of testing centres in their community, including Sutherland Hospital and St George Hospital.
VICTORIA FINALLY EASES RESTAURANT RESTRICTIONS
Earlier today, Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the state was on track to ease further restrictions next week, in line with its two-step COVIDSafe plan.
The Victorian Government will finally allow pub-goers to have a drink without a meal and up to 50 people to attend venues from next week.
Mr Andrews this morning confirmed restrictions on cafes, restaurants and bars would start to be lifted from next week.
"I can confirm that all those restrictions that we had foreshadowed, coming off, as it were, midnight next Sunday night, so 11.59pm on June 21, those changes will in fact be made," he told media this morning.
"We can also add a few items cautiously, carefully, safely to that list of restrictions easing."
It comes as nine new cases of COVID-19 occurred in Victoria overnight.
From next Monday, up to 50 customers will be allowed in cafes, restaurants and bars. However, a maximum group size of 20 still applies.
Perhaps more exciting is that seated service of alcohol will resume, without food needed.
Pub TABs and Retail TABs will open, followed by electronic gaming areas in pubs, clubs, casinos and hotels on 20 July.
Gyms will reopen for 20 people.
Alpine resorts, described by Mr Andrews as "a billion-dollar industry", will reopen to skiers.
the Premier also announced some new restrictions that will be eased, in light of the state's success in fighting COVID-19.
"Shared facilities at camping grounds, and that includes a school camps as well as sports centres, kids' swimming classes, toy libraries, etc - they will be able to reopen," he said in a live press conference this morning," he said.
"Property auctions will go from 20 to 50, and that will also include auction houses."
State governments have also advised caution as things get closer to normal.
"With rules, just as there are in every setting, rules about cleaning and hygiene and social distancing of those things, but that will be very much misspoke for each of those individual settings," Mr Andrews told media this morning.
"Our strategy is a suppression strategy," he said.
"It's important people understand what we are seeking.
"Not every day has to be zero cases in order for us to continue slowly, cautiously, gradually opening up. We are going to see outbreaks. That is what suppression strategy is all about."
Ms Berejiklian also stressed there were still great concerns
"While the newly eased restrictions bring NSW residents and businesses closer to normal operation, it is so important for businesses to make sure they comply with the strict guidelines that have been put in place," she said.