New South Wales to ease Covid restrictions including number allowed to visit a home

The New South Wales government is expected to ease coronavirus restrictions, including the number of people allowed to visit a home.

New South Wales' Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks to Muslims at the Lekamba mosque after an Eid al-Fitr prayer in western Sydney on June 25, 2017.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian
Photo: AFP

The easing of restrictions will be agreed at the government’s weekly Covid-19 meeting this morning and will be implemented in time for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

From Tuesday 1 December up to 30 people will be able to visit a home – an increase from 20.

The NSW government will also allow up to 50 people to gather outdoors in a public space. Previously this was 30.

Small hospitality venues of up to 200 square metres in size will be allowed to have one person per 2 square metres indoors, up to a maximum of 50 customers.

This doubles the amount of customers venues will be able to accommodate.

The public health order requiring employers to allow employees to work from home will also be repealed.

As employees return to the office, workplaces are encouraged to have Covid-Safe plans.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the community had done “an incredible job this year under trying circumstances”.

“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,” she said.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it was important for people to “work together to keep the community safe” and to “gather outdoors” when possible.

The Australian state has recorded 17 days without any locally acquired Covid-19 cases and earlier this week a number of other restrictions were eased.

Up to 3000 people can now gather for outdoor ticketed events, such as concerts, and up to 500 people can attend outdoor church services.

The 2 square metre rule applies if people are sitting in chairs and the 4 square metre rule applies if people are sitting on rugs or in a group.

With Christmas approaching, up to 30 choir singers can now perform outside but only five are allowed to gather indoors.

All congregants at religious services can participate in singing, but those over the age of 12 must wear face masks.

The easing of restrictions follows the Queensland government’s decision yesterday to reopen its border to Greater Sydney residents on 1 December.

The decision came after NSW met Queensland’s criteria of 28 days without untraceable community transmission.

Much of Greater Sydney has been barred from entry since 1 August.

Berejiklian on Monday said the state was doing “very well” but could not afford to be careless.

“Given we have gone a certain number of days without community transmission it does reduce our concern in that regard,” she said.

“[But] my strong message to the people of New South Wales is please let us not let our guard down. We have come too far to let complacency get the better of us.”


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