Businesses all over the Central Coast are celebrating a major relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions which will come into force on December 7.
Business NSW has described the announcement from Premier Gladys Berejiklian as a “much-needed” break for the business community coming just in time for the Christmas boom season.
The 2sqm rule will be expanded and venue caps will be removed as NSW continues to record zero cases of community transmission.
The former 4sqm rule will be replaced with the 2sqm rule at hospitality and retail venues and places of worship , except at gyms and nightclubs, where up to 50 people will now be allowed under the 4sqm rule.
Up to 100 people will be allowed at outdoor gatherings and up to 5,000 for outdoor events that are fenced, ticketed and seated, subject to the 2sqm rule.
Up to 3,000 people will be allowed at other organised outdoor events such as community sport and outdoor protests, also subject to the 2sqm rule.
Up to 50 performers will be allowed at indoor events, with no maximum cap outdoors.
Business NSW Central Coast Regional Director, Paula Martin, said the organisation had been working with government to provide a more consistent approach to trading conditions across business.
“This announcement will go a long way to reduce confusion and help business take advantage of an expected boom in trade over summer,” she said.
“Central Coast retailers are our second highest employing sector providing nearly 15,000 local jobs.
“We did not experience our usual swell of retail trade last summer due to the bushfires and then Covid-19 destroyed any chance of making up for lost trade.
“As the economy shows signs of recovery including tourism boosted by accommodation reporting full bookings until next February, retailers can get on with the business of planning for increased trade, hiring new staff and taking advantage of visitors coming to the Coast.”
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, said the rolling back of restrictions would allow residents to live in a COVID-safe way until the vaccine arrives in Australia.
“It’s fantastic that everyone will be able to celebrate Christmas with family and friends in a more ‘normal”’ way,” Crouch said.
“I would urge our community to continue remaining vigilant so that we can avoid any future COVID-19 outbreaks on the Coast.”