Major rolling back of COVID-19 restrictions in NSW
The 2 square metre rule will be expanded and venue caps will be removed under a major easing of restrictions, as NSW continues to record zero cases of community transmission.
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Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the timing is right to ease restrictions and replace the 4 square metres rule with the 2 square metres rule, except at gyms and nightclubs.
“We are grateful to the people in NSW for their patience and understanding over what has been an incredibly difficult year,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The rolling back of restrictions across the state is only possible because of the excellent work of the community who have followed social distancing guidelines and continued to come forward for testing.”
On Monday, 7 December 2020, the NSW Government will ease the following restrictions allowing:
Venues including hospitality venues, retail and places of worship:
- 1 person per 2 square metres (with 25 people permitted before the rule applies), except for:
gyms and nightclubs (1 person per 4 square metres, with a maximum of 50 people allowed in gym classes or on the dancefloor at nightclubs)
Stadiums and theatres:
- outdoors: 100% seated capacity, and 1 person per 2 square metres rule for unstructured seating areas
- indoors: 75% seated capacity.
Gatherings in outdoor public spaces:
- up to 100 people for outdoor gatherings (up from 50)
- up to 5,000 people for outdoor events that are fenced, ticketed and seated (subject to the 2 square metres rule)
- up to 3,000 people for other organised outdoor events i.e. community sport and outdoor protests (subject to the 2 square metres rule).
- up to 50 people indoors.
- up to 50 performers indoors, no maximum cap outdoors
- advice is for congregation/audience to continue wearing masks if singing.
Under the changes, maximum capacity caps will be removed subject to the 2 square metres rule for:
- bookings at hospitality venues
- regional agricultural shows
- corporate events
- religious services.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the people of NSW have worked hard to keep COVID-19 under control and deserved this major easing of restrictions.
“Today is a great day for the people of NSW and great timing with Christmas fast approaching, as we will soon see larger crowds at venues and events and the expansion of the 2 square metres rule statewide,” Mr Barilaro said.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said under the changes most venues will be able to double their capacity, which will have an immediate and substantial impact on the economy.
“This change will make a big difference to many businesses and will provide a real boost for jobs particularly in the service industry which has been hit hard over the past nine months," Mr Perrottet said
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said as restrictions are eased the community needs to continue playing their part and being COVID-Safe.
“Keep getting tested with even the slightest of symptoms, maintain your social distance, don’t go to work if you are unwell and wear a mask where you cannot guarantee social distancing,” Mr Hazzard said.
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the NSW Government would continue to work with business and industry to ensure they operate in a COVID-Safe way.
“We have worked closely with industry representatives throughout 2020 to safely ease restrictions and we appreciate their patience and know these changes will be incredibly well received,” Mr Ayres said.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said despite there being no recent cases of community transmission the community should continue to be COVID-Safe.
“It is critical that people continue to come forward for testing and practice COVID-safe behaviour when out and about and catching up with family and friends,” Dr Chant said.