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COVID-19 restrictions ease further for hospitality businesses

Group of people drinking at a pub

The NSW Small Business Commission welcomes the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions on indoor and outdoor venues, in time for the summer holidays.

From Monday 7 December, the existing four-square metre rule will be relaxed to two-square metres for businesses including restaurants and cafes, as well as most event venues.

Caps on the number of people at events will also be lifted, subject to the two-square metre rule. Gyms and nightclubs, however, will continue to be subject to the four-square metre rule and the existing caps.

NSW Small Business Commissioner Chris Lamont said the easing was great news for small businesses, many of whom were entering their busiest time of year.

 “Thank you to all those businesses whose adherence to the rules has helped this happen. At the same time, everyone should continue to practice COVID-safe behaviours so this easing of restrictions can be maintained. Mr Lamont said.

The new rules

Venues including hospitality venues, retail and places of worship:

  • 1 person per 2sqm (with 25 people permitted before the rule applies), except for:
    • Gyms and nightclubs (1 person per 4sqm, with a maximum of 50 people allowed in gym classes or on the dancefloor at nightclubs)

Stadiums and theatres:

  • Outdoors: 100 per cent seated capacity, and 1 person per 2sqm rule for unstructured seating areas.
  • Indoors: 75 per cent 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 2sqm rule).
  • Up to 3,000 people for other organised outdoor events i.e. community sport and outdoor protests (subject to the 2sqm rule).

Dance Floors:

  • 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.

Maximum capacity caps will be removed subject to the 2sqm rule for:

  • Bookings at hospitality venues;
  • Weddings;
  • Funerals;
  • Regional agricultural shows;
  • Corporate events; and
  • Religious services.


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