The New South Wales Government has announced a major rolling back of COVID-19 restrictions, including removing the capacity limit for corporate events.
From Monday 7 December, maximum capacity limits for corporate events will only be determined by the one person per two square metres rule.
Other venues and gatherings, including hospitality venues, regional agricultural shows, weddings, funerals and retail, will also move to the one person per two square metres rule.
Dancefloors will be limited to 50 people indoors.
Also from Monday, outdoor stadiums and theatres can increase to 100 per cent seated capacity, and one person per two square metres for unstructured seating areas, while indoor stadiums and theatres can operate at 75 per cent capacity.
Gatherings in outdoor public spaces will increase to 100 people, outdoor events that are fenced, ticketed and seated (subject to the 2sqm rule) will be increased to up to 5,000 people, and other organised outdoor events, such as community sport and outdoor protests, will increase to 3,000 (subject to the 2sqm rule).
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the timing is right to replace the ‘four square metre rule’ with the ‘two square metre rule’, except at gyms and nightclubs.
“We are grateful to the people in NSW for their patience and understanding over what has been an incredibly difficult year
“The rolling back of restrictions across the state is only possible because of the excellent work of the community who have followed social distancing guidelines and continued to come forward for testing,” she said.”
BESydney welcomes the news
BESydney has welcomed the announcement saying the current 300-person limit and four-square-metre rule is “not economically viable for the majority of businesses”.
BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith said it is a fantastic outcome for business events in NSW and is something the whole industry has been working towards.
“This change is a major milestone in building business confidence to commit to restarting business events again,” she said.
Lewis-Smith applauded Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres in his work to achieve this outcome.
“In their drive to kickstart the state’s economy, Minister Ayres and his team have worked incredibly hard to get to this point where we can now get thousands of people back into work facilitating business meetings, networking, knowledge exchange and deal-making,” she said.
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said despite there being no recent cases of community transmission the community should continue to be COVID-safe.
“It is critical that people continue to come forward for testing and practice COVID-safe behaviour when out and about and catching up with family and friends,” she said.