NSW eases restrictions for outdoor events

The new rules are still set to be introduced, despite an increase in COVID-19 cases.

The NSW Government has confirmed restrictions around outdoor music events have eased, while some rules around hospitality venues will also be relaxed.

Under changes effective from 13 October, 500 people are now able to attend outdoor seated music performances and rehearsals, subject to the four square metre rule and people being seated.

Previously, the limit on these events was 20 people.

The government also confirmed from Friday 16 October 2020, restrictions at hospitality venues will be eased to allow one patron for every two square metres in outdoor areas.

Businesses who wish to take advantage of the relaxed restrictions must use electronic methods, like QR codes, to record and keep contact details.

In a press conference on Wednesday, NSW Premier said plans to further ease restrictions for hospitality venues and weddings would be put on hold, after 11 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded on Wednesday 15 October.

However at time of publishing the NSW Government’s COVID-19 website states the new rules for outdoor dining and outdoor music events are still set to go ahead.

In her announcement of the new rules on Tuesday, Berejiklian said the changes are good news for the hospitality and music industries.

“In NSW, we are focused on keeping the virus under control but also ensuring our economy keeps going and these changes will allow hospitality venues to increase their capacity in a COVID-Safe way,” she said.

“This is also a big boost for our music industry with more people in NSW able to enjoy music in the outdoors over the summer.

“Our aim is to provide as many opportunities as we can for businesses and organisations to succeed – but for that strategy to be successful we need everyone to follow their COVID-19 Safety Plan.”

Organisers of outdoor music performances or rehearsals are required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan, which must cover: wellbeing of the audience, physical distancing requirements, hygiene and cleaning requirements and record keeping of all attendees.

The new rules for hospitality venues will “breath more life” into businesses who have faced a rocky year, said Minister for Health Brad Hazzard.

“This is another step toward as normal a life as possible in a COVID-19 world, and will draw more people to our hospitality venues to catch up with family and friends, particularly in outdoor spaces as summer approaches,” he said.

“In doing so we increase our risk, so it’s important everyone continues to practise physical distancing and good hand hygiene, and to get tested if unwell and stay home until a negative result is obtained.”


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