NSW Premier Glady Berejiklian has announced that the state’s COVID-19 restrictions will drastically ease starting from December 7.
Just in time for Christmas season, dance floors are set to re-open, with a major easing of restrictions for venues, weddings, funerals, and religious events across NSW.
From next Monday, restrictions on hospitality venues, places of worship, theatres, and stadiums will ease to a two-metre square rule. Venues will no longer have a maximum capacity limit – insofar as they adhere to the new rule.
“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 2sqm rule statewide,” Deputy Premier John Barilaro said in a statement.
Gyms and nightclubs will retain the four-metre rule, with a 50 person cap on gym classes and dance floors. At pubs, people will have to remain seated; however, at outdoor venues, patrons will be able to stand.
Music events, including group singing (known to be an efficient method of spreading the virus), will be permitted indoors with a 50 person limit on performers. There will be no cap on performers in outdoor music events.
Restrictions easing in NSW love to see it
— Anish Mehta (@anish2k18) December 2, 2020
Stadiums and theatres will be allowed to operate at 100% seated capacity, with one person per two square metres for standing areas. Up to 100 people will be allowed to gather outside and 5,000 people will be allowed to gather for outdoor events – so long as they are seated, ticketed, fenced, and adhere to the two square metre rule.
“We are grateful to the people in NSW for their patience and understanding over what has been an incredibly difficult year,” Premier Gladys 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.”
The easing came as a celebration gift after NSW had 25 consecutive days with no active cases. Yet less than 24 hours after the announcement, a woman working in an NSW quarantine hotel was discovered to have the virus this morning. It’s yet to be determined how the woman caught the virus, whether it was community transmission or from an overseas traveller.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard didn’t seem worried and was “confident” that the state could control an outbreak. “In the middle of a worldwide pandemic, it’s a rollercoaster, you’ve got to expect that we will have more cases from time to time,” Mr Hazzard told Today.
NSW Health was notified late last night of a new case of COVID-19 in a person who works at a Sydney hotel complex which provides hotel quarantine for returned travellers. This case will be included in tomorrow’s numbers.
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) December 3, 2020
Gladys Berejiklian did say that the recent easings of restrictions were the first time the state had moved “so quickly and fast”, warning that restrictions would tighten in the event of another major outbreak. Well, we’re praying, we are too damn excited for this news.
Wear your mask people, and wash your hands, and do it so we can dance.