Pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars will be allowed to admit up to 50 patrons from June 1, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian announced this afternoon, in a further easing of the state’s lockdown restrictions. Currently, venues are permitted just 10 patrons at one time. The state will enter stage two of the federal government’s three-stage plan at the beginning of June.

However, the loosened restrictions come with a few strict caveats. Venues will still need to adhere to the four-square-metres-per-person rule, meaning that small bars and eateries might be restricted in how many patrons they can admit. For example, an 80-square-metre venue will only be allowed 20 people. Every patron will need to be seated and served at a table – including at pubs – and bookings will only be allowed for groups of 10 or fewer.

“Things will be very different,” said Berejiklian at this afternoon’s press conference. “Even something as simple as having joint cutlery on a table won’t be able to exist anymore. A simple buffet won’t exist anymore. There will be strict guidelines to ensure this happens safely. Because the last thing we want to do is have to shut businesses down because they haven’t complied.”

The news comes just a week after the NSW Government lifted the ban on dining in to allow 10 people in hospitality venues. The government also announced earlier this week that from June 1 libraries, galleries and museums will be permitted to reopen, and regional state travel can resume.