NSW to replace 4sqm rule and remove venue caps as part of massive restriction roll-back

The two-square-metre rule will be expanded and venue caps will be removed under a major easing of restrictions for NSW, as the state continues to record zero cases of community transmission.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the timing was right to ease restrictions and replace the four-square-metre rule with the two-square-metre rule, except at gyms and nightclubs.

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

“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.”

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said that under the changes, most venues will be able to double their capacity, which will have an immediate and substantial impact on the economy.

“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,” Perrottet said.

Here’s a full breakdown of what will be allowed for NSW venues from Monday 7 December:

Venues including hospitality venues, retail and places of worship

  • One person per two square metres (with 25 people permitted before the rule applies), except for gyms and nightclubs (one person per four square metres, with a maximum of 50 people allowed in gym classes or on the dancefloor at nightclubs)

Stadiums and theatres

  • Outdoors: 100 per cent seated capacity, with the two-square-metre rule applying for unstructured seating areas.
  • Indoors: 75 per cent seated capacity.

Gatherings in outdoor public spaces

  • Up to 100 people for outdoor gatherings (up from 50).
  • Up to 5,000 people for outdoor events that are fenced, ticketed and seated (subject to the two-square-metre rule).
  • Up to 3,000 people for other organised outdoor events like community sport and outdoor protests (subject to the two-square-metre rule).

Dance floors

  • Up to 50 people indoors.


  • Up to 50 performers indoors, and no maximum cap outdoors.
  • The advice is for the congregation/audience to continue wearing masks if singing.

Maximum capacity caps will be removed, subject to the two-square-metre rule, for bookings at hospitality venues, weddings, funerals, regional agricultural shows, corporate events, and religious services.

The eased restrictions come not long after NSW made digital customer check-in mandatory for most NSW venues and businesses.

Featured image source: ABC News