The NSW Premier has announced that as of the 1st of June, pubs, cafes, bars and clubs will be allowed to serve up to fifty patrons within its premises in a radical loosening of current restrictions in what is a massive boon for the state’s hospitality industry.
The announcement came via a press conference today, where NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian said that stage two restrictions are to come into place on the 1st of June. For more information on the federal government’s three-stage reopening plan, click here.
Venues will, however, be mandated to adhere to a one patrol per four-square meter rule, meaning that a number of them will not be eligible to host 50 patrons at one time.
The premier said that despite the loosening of restrictions, “this will be with very strict guidelines in place. It has to be in adherence to the four-square-meter rule,” she said.
“Some venues are small in space, they will only be able to have as many customers as is allowed in that space according to the four-square-meter-rule. Nobody will be able to take bookings of more than 10 people,” Berejiklian added.
“Also, nobody will be able to be standing up in these venues. You have to be seated at a table, even if it’s a pub. You have to be seated at the table, you have to be served at the table. There is no mingling, no standing around… there are strict guidelines in place, which will ensure that we can do this safely,” she said.
Gladys Berejiklian addressed the fact while “for many of these businesses, they won’t be coming back at all,” for those “who have managed to hang on, we’re ensuring that we can work together to provide that safe environment.”
“Things will be very different,” the premier added. “Imagine even something as simple as having joint cutlery on a table won’t be able to exist any more. A simple buffet won’t exist any more. There will be strict guidelines to ensure this happens safely, because the last thing we want to do is have to shut businesses down because they haven’t complied.”
“The last thing we want to do is go backwards. Now, we know this is a big step. But the regulations and rules we’ll be putting in place will be very strict to make sure safety is paramount,” the premier concluded.
Deputy Premier, John Barilaro added that “we’ve opened up the regions and its happy hour,” he said in reference to the loosening of interstate travel. “NSW will be taking an important, critical and big step from June 1 - pubs, cafes, restaurants and the like will be able to have up to 50 patrons,” he said.
Brad Hazard, NSW’s Health minister has said that “NSW has always led the way, and again NSW is leading the way. But as we do open up, and as we do make sure that our economy wil lead again this nation, I also want to make sure that all of us understand that this virus is still out there.”
“The way that we’re moving forward is in a cautious and sensible way,” Hazard said. “It has the maximum of 50 people in a cafe or restaurant, but a lesser number if the cafe or restaurant, defined by the four-square-meter rule, requires a lesser number. For example, if you had 80 square meters, you would have 20 people. That’s the basic lesson. Just do the maths,” Hazard said.
He added that diners will have to register their details in order to fine. “Each one of us are effectively soldiers in a war against this virus. And each one of us has to be prepared to live our lives in a little bit different way as we get our old lives back.”
NSW Minister for customer service, Victor Dominello said that “we know that we’re in the hammer-and-dance phase of this pandemic,” adding that “that means we have to dance with the virus. But if it pops its head up, we have to hit it, and hit it hard, fast and local.”
“We will put regulations in place so that, if there is an outbreak, we go hard, fast and local because we have to make sure that we protect the health of the people, and also the health of the economy.”