NSW puts new restrictions on group bookings at pubs

Ash Cant
·2-min read

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed the state is slashing group bookings at pubs by half in the wake of a coronavirus cluster linked to a venue in southwest Sydney.

NSW has tightened restrictions around group bookings at pubs, with gatherings to be restricted to 10 people, and large venues will only be allowed to have a maximum of 300 patrons.

"If you are going to your local pub or your local hotel for a meal or a group booking or someone's birthday, you won't be able to book for more than 10 people,” she told Nine News Tuesday.

Patrons drink beer at a pub in the Rocks area of Sydney on June 1, after social distancing measures were eased. Source: Getty Images
Patrons drink beer at a pub in the Rocks area of Sydney on June 1, after social distancing measures were eased. Source: Getty Images

The premier said venue operators had told her that when groups exceeded more than 10 patrons, “people are getting up and mingling and not staying seated”.

There will also be stricter regulations put in place to ensure venues collect contact details to allow for tracing if an outbreak does occur and the changes will only apply for pubs – not any other licensed venues.

The decision was made after NSW cabinet ministers met on Monday evening, according to the ABC.

The Crossroads Hotel outbreak in Casula now has 21 cases – 10 people who visited the pub and 11 who had been in close contact with a confirmed case.

All patrons of the Casula pub who entered from July 3 to 10 must now self-isolate and are being urged to get tested as a precaution.

The outbreak has prompted the closure of another venue for cleaning as one of those infected attended Picton Hotel on July 4, 9 and 10.

On Monday it was confirmed a man who visited Sydney’s Star Casino tested positive for coronavirus.

The hospitality industry was hard hit by the global pandemic and venues were only allowed to reopen in May, provided they followed strict guidelines which were gradually eased.

There are just over 500 active cases of coronavirus in NSW.

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