The Central West and state will now get a firm look at 'the new normal' as a suite of restrictions on venues, dancing, singing and gatherings significantly ease, a move Business NSW has welcomed.
The Berejiklian government announced rules would be eased further last week, with restrictions on singing and dancing lifted across the board while caps on numbers at weddings, funerals and visitors to homes were lifted as well.
The two-square-metre rule will now come into effect with at least 25 patrons allowed before it applies, while 200 people will now be allowed at personal, outdoor gatherings.
In a huge update for the sport and entertainment sectors, venues like stadiums and theatres will now be able to operate at 100 per cent capacity as well, while masks are no longer mandatory anywhere in the state and optional for commuters.
It's been a tough period for many [businesses], hopefully this news will give them a great boost in the lead-up to the Easter breakBusiness NSW Western Regional Manager Vicki Seccombe
All the changes boding well for businesses in the Central West.
NSW has led the way with how we've been able to manage the response to the pandemic and the government should be applauded for this proactive step," Business NSW Western Regional Manager Vicki Seccombe said.
"It's been a tough period for many business owners and their employees, and hopefully this news will give them a great boost in the lead-up to the Easter break."
While Ms Seccombe was hopeful the easing of restrictions will have a huge flow-on effect across the region she did warn patrons shouldn't consider the pandemic over.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the same while announcing the easing of rules, urging people to remain vigilent as the federal government's vaccine roll-out continues.
"This of course doesn't mean the dangers associated with the pandemic have ended, far from it," Ms Seccombe said.
"Businesses must still insist that customers fill in QR codes where appropriate and that proper record keeping measures remain in place."
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That applies, particularly, to gatherings in the home where more than 100 people are in attendance. In that instance, a COVID-safe plan must be put in place along with record keeping.
"[The] announcement gives some clarity for business owners about 'the new normal' and allows them to plan staffing levels accordingly," Ms Seccombe added.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said if an outbreak occurred and contact tracers could not identify venue attendees, rules would need to be re-tightened.
The premier said the changes were possible as there was no community transmission and the vaccine rollout was progressing well, with 100 per cent of quarantine workers now vaccinated with at least one dose of Pfizer.
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The easing of restrictions has not been affected by the emergence of locally-acquired COVID-19 cases in Queensland over recent days.
However, NSW Health revealed on Sunday afternoon it was contacting more than 20,000 people who have entered the state on flights from March 20-26 over the cluster.
Travellers are being asked if they attended any venues on Queensland Health's COVID-19 hotspot list.
Nine close contacts have so far been identified. They have been told to get a test and to self-isolate for two weeks, no matter the result.
COVID-19 RULES TO EASE ON MONDAY:
- No cap on numbers at weddings or funerals
- Masks on public transport no longer mandatory
- Dancing and singing allowed everywhere
- No caps on visitors in homes. If more than 100 people attend, there must be a COVID-19 safety plan and visitor details must be electronically recorded
- Up to 200 people allowed at personal outdoor public gatherings
- One person per two square metres at venues where more than 25 people are present
- Entertainment venues at 100 per cent seated capacity
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