Like us, you’ve probably got whiplash from how frequently coronavirus-related rules have changed. One minute we could only get takeaway from our favourite restaurants, the next we could eat in a venue with nine other people. And on Monday June 1, restrictions will be wound back even further. Here’s a handy run sheet of what you can and can’t do.
Go on a holiday
International travel may still be a long way off, but NSW residents will be able to holiday anywhere within the state from June 1. Travellers must abide by social-distancing rules, and are advised to call ahead to accommodation and tourism operators to confirm that they’re open. The government is also encouraging people to head to regions that were affected by bushfires and spend up big to help boost their economies.
“Covid could not have come at a worse time for regional NSW, with towns already doing it tough due to bushfires and drought, and so I encourage everyone to make plans to safely and responsibly visit their favourite regional holiday destination, or discover a new one,” said Deputy Premier John Barilaro on May 20.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed that the NSW ski season will go ahead this year, opening on June 22. Your annual ski trip will probably look a bit different to previous years, though. Thredbo Resort has already announced its capacity will be reduced by up to 50 per cent: only two people per chairlift, and restaurants and bars must adhere to new government restrictions (more info below). Other resorts are expected to have similar restrictions.
Need holiday inspiration? See the best NSW accommodation here.
Eat at a restaurant and order a drink (just a drink)
We’ve been allowed to dine in at restaurants, bars and pubs for a couple of weeks now. But with capacity capped at just 10 people, it’s been difficult to secure a table (and some venues decided it wasn’t worth opening at all). But as of Monday, venues will be allowed to admit up to 50 people, as long as they have enough space to adhere to the four-square-metre rule.
“All customers must be seated and no bookings of more than 10 [are] allowed, in addition to many other conditions which must be met,” Berejiklian has said. Because patrons must be seated and only table service is permitted, you can’t get your drink at the bar. But you may now be served alcohol without food.
Visit an art gallery or museum
Art galleries and museums are also allowed to resume operations – but things won’t quite go back to normal. Visitors will be limited to allow four square metres per person, distancing markers will be in place at service points, and groups and tours will be off limits. You won’t be able to spontaneously pop in either – all visitors must pre-book their tickets online. The Art Gallery of NSW is slated to reopen straight away, while the MCA will reopen on June 16. The Biennale of Sydney will also recommence progressively from June 1 at various venues.
Libraries are also permitted to reopen, but the same social-distancing restrictions will apply. Returned books will be held in quarantine for 24 hours.
Get your nails done
If your at-home facials are lacking and your talons are looking worse for wear, you’re in luck: beauty services are resuming too. They’ll be strictly regulated though – businesses must adhere to the four-square-metre rule, a maximum of 10 clients will be allowed at any one time, and strict cleaning procedures must be undertaken.
Businesses must record attendance for all clients, staff and contractors, and magazines, books and iPads will be removed from waiting areas to prevent transmission. Designated staff members will monitor salon capacity and ensure physical distancing is appropriate.
How about gyms?
No announcement yet on when gyms will reopen, but the government did give the all clear to councils to reopen outdoor exercise equipment, playgrounds and outdoor swimming pools on May 15. Outdoor boot camps are also in operation now.
Follow the NSW Government’s rules and restrictions here.