If the COVID-19 rules are changed on Monday, more people will be allowed to congregate in restaurants and bars in NSW.
The state government’s announcement this summer means that every person visiting a hotel will only need 2 square meters of space for themselves, rather than the 4 square meters currently required.
The new regulation also applies to retail stores and religious spaces and will come into effect on Monday, NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said.
The 2 square meter rule applies as soon as 25 people are present at a venue. There will be no maximum number of people as long as the 2 square meter rule is followed for bookings for venues, weddings, funerals, regional agricultural shows, corporate events, and church services.
Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro, who along with other top ministers flanked Ms. Berejiklian for the announcement, said the easing of restrictions was « a reward for the hard work of NSW citizens ». .
« Last year, bushfires stole Christmas from us. Today’s announcement means COVID is not going to rob us of Christmas, « he said.
Gyms and night clubs are exceptions to the rule. A limit of 50 people and 4 square meters is required for each person participating in these deals.
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said those who dance in nightclubs are banned from bringing drinks to the dance floor.
She said the strict rules for nightclubs would apply to guard against « explosive » virus spread events and that nightclubs were viewed as particularly risky due to high turnover around the world.
« What you might call a normal nightclub experience could be a little bit more COVID-safe, » said Dr. Chant about the rules.
Stadiums and theaters may fully occupy the seats for outdoor events. According to a government media commentator, however, the 2-square-meter rule applies to « unstructured seating areas ».
For indoor events, these venues may be 75 percent occupied.
There are also changes to the rules for outdoor public gatherings. As of Monday, the number of people allowed to hang out outdoors will double to 100.
For outdoor events that are fenced in, with tickets and seats, 5,000 people are allowed in accordance with the 2 m² rule.
Other organized outdoor events are allowed up to 3000 people subject to the 2 m² rule. This includes community sporting events and outdoor protests.
The choirs allow up to 50 people to sing together indoors, and there is no upper limit for singing outdoors. However, communities and audiences are advised to wear masks.
Health Secretary Brad Hazzard warned that NSW residents should lose their vigilance given the milder virus rules.
« Much of this year has been terrible, almost hellish. I don’t want us to come back to this next year, so the church needs to understand that they have to work with us, « said Hazzard.
He said the new rules meant that pub patrons could drink while standing as long as they were outside.
« You can stand outside and have a drink from next Monday, » said Hazzard, urging the Prime Minister to lean in and underline that drinks inside must still be consumed while sitting.
The changes come after a previous rule change last week was rated unsatisfactory by those who manage larger venues who were then exempt from the 2-square-meter rule.
« Health is checking very carefully whether it is possible to use these 2 square meters indoors in all restaurants, but we are not quite there yet, » she said last Wednesday.
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New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, Coronavirus, John Barilaro and Dominic Perrottet
World News – AU – Big change in new virus rules in NSW
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