Pubs and clubs in New South Wales could soon host double the amount of patrons allowed inside as the state goes two days without any new COVID-19 cases.
Industry leaders are reportedly in talks with the state government to ease current restrictions to allow one person per two square metres.
The current one person per four square metre rule has been in place since May and has weighed heavily on the hospitality industry, with food and beverage sales down 60 per cent.
Clubs and pubs are hoping to double the amount of patrons allowed inside after NSW went two days without any new coronavirus cases (pictured two women enjoy at drink at the Royal Hotel in Sydney)
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Monday more needed to be done before big changes could be made.
‘Let’s not get ahead of ourselves after a few days of zero cases,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘We already eased some restrictions last week and are going as fast as we can to help businesses, the economy, and jobs, but we need to make sure we do it at the right pace.
‘We will ease restrictions wherever and whenever it is safe to do so, but unlike some other states we have to do it with open borders and will an eye on the situation in Victoria.’
Government ministers like Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres and Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello have had discussions with industry groups on easing patron rules.
Peter V’landys, NSW Racing boss and rugby league chairman, said he expected the state would lift restrictions after such few cases were recorded.
Food and beverage sales have been down 60 per cent as a result of having just one patron per four square metres (pictured friends visit a bar in Sydney)
NSW recorded no new cases on Monday or Sunday and just one new infection on Saturday (pictured patient is tested for coronavirus at a pop up site in Sydney)
‘There is no way Gladys Berejiklian or the NSW Government is going to let Queensland out-do them. Surely whatever Queensland can do we can do,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.
Meanwhile, Australian chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan said businesses could profit $20,000 more a week with an easing of restrictions.
‘The government keeps going on about jobs, jobs, jobs, yet it seems the restaurant businesses are being left out a bit. We’re turning away customers because we’re only at 50 per cent capacity,’ he said.
The Australian Hotels Association said increasing the number of customers could allow for 15,000 new jobs in the hospitality sector.
The one person per two square metre rule has already been taken on in South Australia and Western Australia.
Queensland allows more patrons in venues under 200 square metres.
As NSW is about to enter into school holidays, the matter surrounding patrons will be highly considered if there is no new spike in infections.
It comes after NSW recorded no new coronavirus cases on Monday and Sunday with just one infection on Saturday.
Hospitality industry leaders estimate up to 15,000 new jobs could be created if more customers are allowed inside venues (pictured patrons line up outside a Sydney club)