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Restrictions eased for outdoor dining and live music

Waiter serving coffee to customer outdoors

Hospitality small businesses across NSW are rejoicing at the news that restrictions for outdoor dining and music performances will be eased under new COVID-19 safety rules.

From Friday 16 October, restrictions at venues will be relaxed to allow one patron for every two square metres in outdoor areas. Under previous restrictions only one person was allowed per four square metres. All businesses wanting to make the most of this change must use an electronic record system to track patrons, such as QR codes.

From today up to 500 people are allowed to attend outdoor seated music performances and rehearsals, but they must be seated and adhere to the four square metre social distancing rule. It’s a significant change from the previous restriction of a maximum 20 people for this kind of event.

NSW Small Business Commissioner Chris Lamont has welcomed the news.

“This is an important development for the many cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs, as well as small businesses in the music industry, who have been hard hit by COVID-19,” Mr Lamont said.

“This will assist the hospitality sector get back on track right as summer hits and patrons seek outdoor hospitality and entertainment.

“Throughout the COVID pandemic small businesses have worked hard to keep the community safe, so to see this easing of restrictions is a great result.” 

All hospitality venues will still be required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

The COVID-19 Safety Plan for organisers of outdoor music performances or rehearsals will need to include:  

  • Wellbeing of the audience;
  • Physical distancing requirements for audience;
  • Hygiene and cleaning requirements; and
  • Record keeping of all attendees.

For more information on the COVID-19 rules around gatherings and staying safe at work, visiting family and friends or going out, check the NSW Government website.

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