'Definitely': Premier confirms change to pub rules coming soon

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

Pubs, cafes and restaurants in NSW will double their capacity within weeks, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has revealed.

Under current coronavirus restrictions, hospitality venues are limited to 10 patrons at a time but the premier said plans were underway to double that to 20.

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Appearing on Channel Nine’s Today show on Wednesday morning to discuss the impending relaxation of travel restrictions within the state, she was asked if such a move was likely within a month.

“Absolutely, that’s definitely on the cards,” she said, revealing an announcement was due in the “near future”.

Gladys Berejiklian revealed an announcement on pubs and restaurants was imminent. Source: Today

NSW residents can travel anywhere in the state for holidays from June 1, and it is expected pubs and eateries will by then be allowed to accommodate up to 20 patrons dining in.

Pubs were able to serve alcohol inside their venues with food from last Friday in a welcome decision implemented by the NSW government.

Ms Berejkilian said she was happy with the response to the roll back.

“We're also really pleased, can I say, the way in which the community has respected the restrictions,” she said.

“I know there are examples which are highlighted about people doing the wrong thing but, in the main, the community has come on board.

“Who would have thought us Aussies would do what we are asked to do?”

The NSW government implemented its first stage of rollbacks following Scott Morrison’s three-step plan a week after the National Cabinet’s advice for the next three months was announced.

Pubs in NSW could be open in weeks. Source: AAP

The federal government’s plan advises if Australia’s coronavirus outbreak was under control, each stage would be able to progress to the next step of eased restrictions after three weeks.

With the National Cabinet advising hospitality venues can host 20 patrons for stage two, May 29 is the earliest date the Morrison government deems an easing of restrictions fit after revealing the three-step plan on May 8.

Alcohol in venues to return for South Australia

On Wednesday, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall announced from Friday indoor dining with alcohol would be allowed for 10 patrons at cafes and restaurants.

The state had previously allowed for venues to only open outside seating. The new restrictions will allow for 10 customers inside and 10 outside.

The state, which has only recorded one COVID-19 case in 28 days, will move to stage two three days earlier than it had scheduled on June 5, which will see pubs opened.

“We have listened to what the people of South Australia have said and they want to move to stage two sooner than the Monday of the long weekend,” he said.

Cinemas and theatres will also reopen.

The state’s roadmap previously indicated restaurants only allowing 10 outdoor diners, with no alcohol, would continue until June 8.

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