Streamlined procedures to encourage more COVID-safe outdoor dining in NSW will start being rolled out next week.
Sydney's The Rocks district will be the first area to open up to more alfresco drinking and dining from October 16, followed by the CBD from November 1 for a 12-month pilot program allowing quicker approval times for venues.
Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said red tape had been cut to fast-track approvals.
"We're working with City of Sydney and Place Management NSW, the landowner for The Rocks, to condense what was previously a three-month process involving multiple agencies, into a single application that takes a week," he said.
Planning Minister Rob Stokes said cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels would be able to apply for an outdoor dining licence without needing to get a planning approval.
Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock said councils across the state were being encouraged to examine how they could fast-track outdoor dining area approvals while ensuring public safety.
"We're exploring introducing further changes so that all councils can take advantage of the new arrangements and implement similar streamlined processes in time for summer," she said.