NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced today, May 22 that as from June 1, cafes, restaurants, pubs with eating facilities will be able to accommodate a maximum of 50 people, subject to the size of the premises with social distancing requirements in place.
Ms Berejiklian emphasised that with this relaxation of capacity in venues, there are more stringent measures to ensure safety and prevention of community transmission. For instance there will be no cutlery left on tables, no buffets where food can be mishandled and similar controls.
The other good news previously made known is that NSW residents will be able to take recreational travel or a holiday anywhere in NSW from 1 June 2020, with the lifting of the intra-state travel restrictions. Social distancing and good hygiene are still to be observed.
Ms Berejiklian said the lifting the holiday travel restriction will give everyone a much needed break and help get small businesses and the tourism industry moving again.
“This is the day we’ve all been looking forward to since the COVID-19 travel restrictions were put in place earlier this year and I would like to thank everyone for their patience during the past few months of being cooped up at home,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“I must stress to everyone that, while we want people to enjoy a well-earned holiday, we must do this responsibly and continue to abide by physical distancing measures, as the last thing we want is further outbreaks that will force us to reintroduce restrictions.”
Also allowed to operate from 1 June museums, galleries and libraries.
However NSW Health has set the following guidelines: *
- exclusion of staff and visitors who are unwell
- limiting the number of guests to allow for 4 square metres per person
- providing distance markers for people queuing at service points
- ensuring adequate handwashing facilities and/or sanitiser
- online ticketing systems for museums and galleries
- no groups and tours
- enhanced cleaning
- 24 hour quarantine of returns for libraries.
At this morning's media briefing, Ms Berjeklian spent time to reiterate her appeal for more people to be tested for COVID-19, in particular health care workers and those who feel some symptoms of the virus. She reported that there were three new cases from 8,600 who were tested.
Subsequent news in the morning highlighted the death of an eighty year old woman who died at Concord Hospital, with the infection believed to have been from an outpatient clinic in the hospital. This took the national total of deaths to 101.
Schools are also open from Monday, May 25. This has been met with varying reactions from parents, with some thinking it is too soon.
We all look forward to the media updates brought to us in our homes by television. These provide us with updates on what is happening in other states as well. At a time where we need to have cooperation and compassion, it was a big disappointment to see an official used the talk as a platform for political scoring and in my humble view, using unacceptable language tone.