From Friday May 15, NSW residents will be permitted to have an outdoor gathering of 10 people and visits to a household of up to five people. Cafes and restaurants will also be able to accomodate 10 patrons at one time, while outdoor gyms, children's playgrounds and outdoor pools can reopen "with caution". The four-square-metre rule, which was adopted when restrictions first began being put in place, will remain.
"Our community has demonstrated that by working together we can achieve positive results. The changes will allow NSW to fire up the economy, while allowing more personal freedoms. We will continue to closely monitor Covi-19 rates, especially community transmissions, to guide us towards easing further restrictions,” said the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in a press conference on Sunday May 10.
Additionally, religious gatherings and weddings will be allowed to host up to 10 people, and 20 mourners will be able to attend indoor funerals or 30 if it's outdoors. The premier has, though, kept in place a ban on regional travel, and not allowed libraries and community centres to open.
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Berejiklian has adopted most of the stage-one changes outlined in the Prime Minister’s three-step road map to recovery plan announced on Friday. “NSW can only do this following the hard work and sacrifice of our communities,” she said.
The NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant added, "As we take this next step we need to continue to work together – governments, community, business and NGOs – with high rates of testing, social distancing and adherence to other public health measures like handwashing and staying at home if you show even slight symptoms."
Following confusion surrounding whether pubs and pub restaurants will be permitted to open, Berejiklian has clarified that they will remain closed for now. “When our medical experts are asked why restaurants and cafes open and not pubs their response is that it’s easier to maintain social distancing in a seated restaurant or cafe situation, whereas in a pub if people are mingling and what have you it’s a bit more difficult," she said in an interview with Channel Seven.
This article was updated on May 13, 2020.