On the weekend, the NSW government announced further easing of lockdown restrictions. Starting July 1, restaurants, bars and cafes will no longer have to cap its patrons to 50 people in indoor spaces. Instead, venues will simply need to adhere to the four-square-metre rule.
And as of this morning, we have confirmation that cinemas will reopen on July 1 too.
Oh choc-tops, how we’ve missed thee.
Broadsheet reached out to the National Association of Cinema Operators, which confirmed the news. Because movie theatres are ticketed and seated spaces, cinemas have been included in the latest round of restriction repeals.
So far, Sydney icon The Ritz has confirmed that it will be reopening on July 1. Other cinemas are likely to follow soon.
Operators will need to adhere to social-distancing rules and the four-square-metre rule, so they won’t be able to sell every seat. On the plus side, that means more room to stretch out; less chance that a tall person will sit in front of you (sayonara height cushions); and fewer annoying phone screens in your peripheral vision.
Randwick's Ritz is offering punters $10 for its first week, and says it’s putting a bunch of public-health measures in place, including spaced seating (those in the same household can sit together); hand sanitiser stations in the foyer; card-only payment; limited capacity (to ensure social distancing); staggered session start times; and more cleaning.
Also starting July 1: sporting venues with a maximum capacity of 40,000 people will be able to host crowds of up to 10,000. But nightclubs and music festivals haven’t been so lucky. The government says they should be allowed to reopen in August if community transmission remains low, though.