Today the NSW govt is expected to announce a further lifting of restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings and at hospitality venues as of Tuesday, December 1 – or, in other words, just in time for the holidays!
The easing of restrictions is to be agreed upon at the govt's weekly COVID-19 meeting this morning (Wednesday), reports the ABC.
So, what's likely to change? Well, for starters, up to 30 people will be allowed inside a home – up from the previous limit of 20. The limit on outdoor gatherings will also be upped – from 30 people to 50. Venue-wise, small venues of up to 200 square metres in size will be allowed one person per two square metres indoors and up to 50 customers max – a doubling of the amount customers they'll now be able to accommodate.
Interestingly, the public health order requiring employers let their staff work from home will also be repealed, meaning employees will be obligated to go into the office, if asked to do so. (Bit devo about this one.) Workplaces will of course be encouraged to have COVID-Safe plans.
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said (in a presser via the ABC) the state had done "an incredible job this year under trying circumstances".
"I hope these changes provide a boost to the hospitality industry and give people certainty in how they can celebrate safely with family, friends and colleagues over the Christmas and New Year period."
In case you missed it, earlier this year, it was announced up to 3000 people can now gather for outdoor ticketed events like concerts and up to 500 can attend outdoor church services.
Also, in some huge news, yesterday (Tuesday), Queensland announced it would be reopening its border to Greater Sydney on December 1, after NSW met its criteria of 28 days without untraceable community transmission.
If all goes to plan looks like we just might have a normal-ish summer.
If your head is a little scrambled, make sure you pop over to WHO.int to get all of your official COVID-19 updates.
Written by Sangeeta Kocharekar, an American-born, Sydney-based writer at MTV. Photos from her pre-COVID-19 days as a travel writer are here.