Outdoor dining restrictions in NSW to ease from Friday

Outdoor dining restrictions in NSW to ease from Friday

From this Friday restrictions on restaurants and venues in New South Wales will be eased, doubling the number of people permitted to dine outside.

Additionally, musical performances for up to 500 people at outdoor venues will be allowed as long as the audience is seated and compliant with the one person per four square meter rule.

Outdoor dining restrictions will be relaxed to allow one person per two square meters, as long as venues have a QR code system set up to track the identities of patrons.

Indoor dining restrictions of one person per four square meters will remain in place.

The eased restrictions on outdoor dining comes after the NSW Government announecd an al fresco dining pilot to commence on 16 October.

Under the 12-month pilot there will be no need to get a planning approval when cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels apply for an outdoor dining licence.

An amendment to the Liquor Regulation will also allow expanded liquor licence boundaries to be approved in three days, compared to a process that used to take up to 51 days.

According to NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet the eased restrictions will be a boon for hospitality businesses in the state.

"We know, particularly in our state, during this pandemic some of the hardest hit industries have been arts and recreation and hospitality we've seen a reduction in employment between March and September in hospitality of around 14 per cent," said Perrottet.

"As we head into Summer we're going to take New South Wales from being inside to outside."

The announcement comes as NSW reports seven new cases of locally transmitted COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

Six cases of COVID-19 in overseas travellers in hotel quarantine were also diagnosed, bringing the total number of cases in NSW to 4,106 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Two new locally acquired cases, publicly announced on Monday 12 October, are doctors who worked at the A2Z Medical Clinic and are linked to a previously reported case of unknown source. At this point, these cases have no known links to other clusters.

Another five new locally acquired cases today are members of the same household in South Western Sydney. They have now been identified as part of the ongoing investigation into four previously reported unlinked cases, including a nurse from St Vincent's Hospital.

NSW Health also says one of the new cases is a disability support worker who has worked at three small group homes in South Western Sydney.

Another one of the new cases attended the Great Beginnings Oran Park childcare centre on 1, 2, 8, and 9 October while infectious. The centre is closed today. Contact tracing and investigations are underway.

Updated at 1.24pm AEDT on 13 October.

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