Hospitality venue managers can legally dance and sing in the streets to the sound of COVID-19 restrictions easing on Monday, but there's still plenty of confusion according to one publican.
The 4-square-meter rule's been replaced with the 2-square-meter rule at all venues (except for nightclubs and gyms).
Sporting events at stadiums will be able to run at full capacity, indoor stadiums or theatres at 75 per cent capacity, while pubs, clubs, cafes, shops and places of worship will no longer have a maximum cap on numbers (as long as the one person per 2-square-meter rule is followed).
Restrictions on singing and dancing have also been relaxed, but what about standing up whilst enjoying a beer?
Licencee of the Heritage Hotel at Bulli Andy Bell welcomed all the changes, but said the advice given from governing bodies was only a few "dot points" making it "confusing and frustrating".
On Sunday afternoon, Mr Bell was still trying to get official confirmation his patrons would be allowed to drink a tasty ale while standing outside, or inside or not at all.
"There is no mention of the removal of the seating whilst consuming alcohol requirements in outdoor spaces as has been reported," he said.
"There are no in-depth definitions of dance-floors ... [and] if patrons are permitted to consume alcohol whilst dancing.
"I don't think it's too much to ask for an open dialogue between industry and government so that we can all be on the same page."
Mr Bell said the current official advice was conflicting to what Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Tuesday.
"For hospitality venues in an outdoor setting we will allow people to stand, but not in an indoor setting," Ms Berejiklian said at a media conference on December 2.
Other changes coming into force will see a doubling of outdoor gatherings to 100 people, and 5000 for outdoor events like festivals (that are fenced, ticketed and seated subject to the 2-square-mete rule).
International borders may not have opened yet, but an increase in capacity for stadiums and major venues does mean more events.
This year has been rough for WIN Entertainment Centre with dozens of events cancelled or rescheduled, though venue manager Marc Swan said they've experienced an "influx" of tour announcements.
"We are excited to ... [be well on our] way to hosting a great mix of national sporting events, national and international touring acts and other community events for the Illawarra community throughout 2021."
Tour promoter Michael Gudinski of Frontier told the Sydney Morning Herald he was encouraged to see the capacity increase for venues but it was unlikely international acts would be lining up to tour one state only.
"International acts are not interested about [playing in] one state. At the moment, international acts are a whole different level to what's being announced here," he said.
"This is a time for Australian acts to shine but they're not going to play a full house at ANZ Stadium."
Some of the changes from December 7:
- One person per 2 square metres in all retail establishments, except for gyms and nightclubs
- Stadiums and theatres: 100 per cent seated capacity outdoor and 75 per cent indoor
- Up to 100 people for outdoor gatherings
- Up to 5000 people for outdoor events that are fenced, ticketed and seated
- up to 3,000 people for other organised outdoor events i.e. community sport and outdoor protests (subject to the 2sqm rule)
- Dance floors: up to 50 people indoors
- Maximum capacity caps removed for weddings, funerals, religious services, corporate events and agricultural shows
- up to 50 performers can sing indoors, no maximum cap outdoors - advice is for congregation/audience to continue wearing masks if singing.
For more information: https://www.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/major-rolling-back-of-covid-19-restrictions-nsw