Restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs in New South Wales will have their capacity doubled in time for the festive season, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian announcing the state’s COVID-19 restrictions will be eased further.

From Monday 7 December, the 2-square-metre rule will apply indoors to all hospitality venues except nightclubs. There will also be no upper cap on the number of patrons allowed in venues, so long as the 2-square-metre rule is adhered to and social distancing practices are maintained.

More restrictions will be eased too, with patrons now allowed to stand outdoors while at venues and up to 50 people allowed on indoor dance floors. Patrons will need to remain seated while indoors.

“We are grateful to the people in NSW for their patience and understanding over what has been an incredibly difficult year,” said Ms Berejiklian.

“The rolling back of restrictions across the State is only possible because of the excellent work of the community who have followed social distancing guidelines and continued to come forward for testing.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said under the changes most venues will be able to double their capacity.

“This change will make a big difference to many businesses and will provide a real boost for jobs particularly in the service industry which has been hit hard over the past nine months,” said Mr Perrottet.

The news comes as NSW records its 25th consecutive day without a locally acquired case of COVID-19.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant urged to community to continue implementing COVID-Safe practices despite there being no recent cases of community transmission.

The 2-square-metre rule currently applies to hospitality venues up to 200 square metres in size, with larger venues still required to adhere to the 4-square-metre rule until Monday 7 December.

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