New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has today announced a further relaxation of the state's social distancing restrictions, with pubs, cafés and restaurants permitted to serve up to 50 diners at a time from 1 June.
However, she warned these venues must operate with "very strict" guidelines in place. Venues can only accept group bookings of up to 10 people, and all patrons must be seated throughout their dining-in session.
"[Nobody] will be able to be standing up in these venues. You have to be seated at a table, even if it's a pub. You have to be seated at the table, you have to be served at the table. There is no mingling, no standing around," she said in a press conference this afternoon.
The four-square-metres per person rule remains in place, with the Premier acknowledging the difficulties faced by small hospitality venues. "Some venues are small in space, they will only be able to have as many customers as is allowed in that space according to the four-square-metre rule," she said.
The 50-diners rule is a significant increase in capacity to hospitality venues. Just last week, restaurants, cafes, and pubs were allowed to reopen their dining rooms to up to 10 people at a time.
Today's news comes just days after the state government announced that New South Wales citizens would be able to take recreational trips across the state also from 1 June.