NSW to allow gatherings and eating out as virus restrictions eased

Cafes will be allowed to reopen in NSW as the state prepares to roll out stage one of the roadmap to recovery.

Cafes will be allowed to reopen in NSW as the state prepares to roll out stage one of the roadmap to recovery. Photo: ABC

New South Wales will start relaxing lockdown restrictions from Friday, but does not plan to implement all step one measures agreed to by National Cabinet.

Cafes and restaurants will also be able to have up to 10 people dining in.

Weddings will be allowed to have up to 10 guests while funerals can accommodate up to 20 mourners indoors and 30 outdoors.

The rules have also been relaxed for places of worship, where there can now be up to 10 people at religious gatherings.

Outdoor gyms and playgrounds will open and outdoor pools, but with restrictions.

Here are the new measures announced on Sunday morning:

  • Up to five people will be allowed to visit a home at any one time, including children. Currently two people and their dependent children are allowed to visit under NSW regulations.
  • Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will also be allowed, such as a physical training session or sitting down in a park.
  • Restaurants and cafes will be allowed to have up to 10 patrons at a time while maintaining social distancing – 1.5 metres between people and four metres square space for each person.
  • Up to 10 guests will be allowed at weddings.
  • Up to 20 people are allowed at indoor funerals and up to 30 at outdoor funerals.
  • Religious gatherings and places of worship can also welcome up to 10 worshippers.
  • Outdoor equipment including gyms and playgrounds can be used with caution, and swimming in outdoor pools will be allowed with restrictions.
  • Holidays in regional NSW remain banned
  • NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant says people will still be urged to work from home where it works for both employer and employee.

New South Wales does not intend to follow the National Cabinet’s plan to permit local and regional travel.

Ms Berejiklian said it was too soon to let people take regional holidays.

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has been cautious about easing restrictions. Photo: AAP

Unlike other jurisdictions, the Berejiklian Government has taken two days to decide whether to start reopening the state after National Cabinet met on Friday morning.

“My firm position during the crisis has been to follow the health advice and do what’s best for New South Wales,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 rates, especially community transmissions, to guide us towards easing further restrictions.”

The state’s Chief Medical Officer, Kerry Chant, has also backed the move to relax restrictions.

“The chief health officers of the Commonwealth and states supported by experts have prepared advice on the way forward,” Dr Chant said.

“As we take this next step we need to continue to work together — governments, community, business and NGOs — with high rates of testing, social distancing and adherence to other public health measures like handwashing and staying at home if you show even slight symptoms.”

New South Wales had already started slightly relaxing restrictions.

A week ago, two adults plus children were allowed to visit a house.

From Monday, schools will start a staggered return and the Government has also been encouraging retail outlets to open.
The National Cabinet has agreed to step two and three of easing lockdown measures but the NSW Government has yet to consider its own plans.


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