NSW to ease Greater Sydney venue restrictions this week

New South Wales is set to ease a number of COVID-19 restrictions across the Greater Sydney area this week, including caps on outdoor gatherings, weddings and hospitality venues.

From 12:01am on Friday, outdoor gatherings caps will be increased to 50 people in total, while weddings and funerals will be increased to 300 people, subject to the one-person-per-four-square-metre rule.

Smaller hospitality venues will be allowed at least 25 people, and all other venues including hospitality venues, places of worship and corporate event venues will be subject to the one-person-per-four-square-metre rule.

Unfortunately, singing and dancing will still be off the table, except for 20 nominated people in wedding parties who will be permitted to dance.

However, the NSW government is anticipating that all settings requiring the four-square-metre rule will revert to the one-person-per-two-square-metre rule in two weeks’ time if current trends continue.

Once the two-square-metre rule applies, the state government expects that fines will increase to reduce the risk of super-spreading COVID-19 events.

The news comes not long after the NSW government announced an investment in world-class events as part of its Visitor Economy Strategy 2030.

The strategy aims to triple 2009’s overnight visitor expenditure in the state by 2030, with a target of $65 billion in total visitor expenditure.

This includes an accelerated investment in signature sporting and cultural events such as the 10 world cups and Vivid Sydney, as well as business events “will help position Sydney and NSW as the events capital of the Asia-Pacific, drive visitation and enhance the social wellbeing of NSW residents”, according to the government.

It plans to achieve this by investing in and nurturing homegrown events that reflect the “vibrancy” of NSW visitor destinations and “providing the best events facilities in Australia”.

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