Restrictions eased in time for Christmas
More people will be allowed to gather both at home and in outdoor public spaces, and smaller hospitality venues can increase their capacity under a major easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the people of NSW have demonstrated that by working together and following COVID-Safe protocols restrictions can safely be eased.
“The community has done an incredible job this year under trying circumstances,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“I hope these changes provide a boost to the hospitality industry and give people certainty in how they can celebrate safely with family, friends and colleagues over the Christmas and New Year period.”
From Tuesday, 1 December:
- Up to 50 people (currently 20) can visit a residence as long as an outdoor space is being utilised, however, it’s recommended no more than 30 people gather if the residence has no outdoor area.
- Up to 50 people can gather outdoors in a public space (currently 30).
- Small hospitality venues (up to 200 square metres in size) will be allowed to have one person per two square metres indoors.
From Monday, 14 December:
- The Public Health Order requiring employers to allow employees to work from home (where it is reasonably practicable to do so) will be repealed.
As employees return to the office, workplaces are encouraged to have COVID-Safe plans. Employers are encouraged to stagger staff starting and finishing times to reduce the impact on public transport. Customers using public transport are strongly encouraged to wear a mask.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the increased capacity at smaller hospitality venues would make a big difference to cafés and small restaurants across the State.
“We won’t let this be the COVID that stole Christmas. An increase for gatherings at home and a return of the 2m2 rule for smaller hospitality venues, I hope, will be welcome news across the State. We want the people of NSW to have a proper festive season, they deserve it,” Mr Barilaro said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the NSW Government has worked closely with the experts at NSW Health to ease restrictions safely for end of year celebrations.
“It’s important we work together to keep the community safe; so where possible gather together outdoors, get tested if you have any symptoms and if you are elderly or have underlying health issues you should be particularly cautious,” Mr Hazzard said.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said as we head into the festive season there would be more people moving around the community, which means it is vital people continue to come forward for testing.
“More people will be hosting gatherings in their homes, going out for lunches and dinners and socialising – so if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, please come forward for testing,” Dr Chant said.