From this Friday NSW will allow up to 500 people at an outdoor event and one patron per two square metre in the outdoor space of venues using QR codes.
Looks like NSW residents are that much closer to having a normal-ish summer.
The state will ease social distancing restrictions on outdoor gigs and al fresco dining as of this Friday, (troubled) NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced this week. Up to 500 people will be allowed to attend outdoor seated music performances, subject to the two-square-metre rule, and businesses using a QR code to maintain customer records will be allowed one patron for every two square metres in outdoor areas.
“While we are concerned with the emerging clusters, we do feel confident enough that from Friday, outdoor venues will be able to have two square metres outside, in preparation for summer.” Ms Berejiklian said in a presser via the ABC.
With indoor restrictions keeping to four square metres, the plan is to turn venues “inside out” by getting patrons to dine outside rather inside, and to open up the city’s pathways, laneways and possibly parking spaces to create room for it, reports 9News. Many businesses have been struggling with caps on the numbers of people allowed to sit inside a venue.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard also said the outdoor rule would “make a huge difference to the ambience of Sydney”. (We sure hope so.)
“This is another step toward as normal a life as possible in a COVID-19 world, and will draw more people to our hospitality venues to catch up with family and friends, particularly in outdoor spaces as summer approaches,” he said. “In doing so we increase our risk, so it’s important everyone continues to practise physical distancing and good hand hygiene, and to get tested if unwell and stay home until a negative result is obtained.”
Oh, and how’s this for good news: there’s talk of Sydneysiders being incentivised to get out and about by offering free public transport into the city, and also free live music events and entertainment in key affected areas like Martin Place.
Sounds like it could be shaping up to quite the pleasant summer after all.
If your head is a little scrambled, make sure you pop over to WHO.int to get all of your official COVID-19 updates.
Main Image Credit: Licensed by Getty