Hospitality venues across New South Wales and Victoria can finally say ‘goodbye’ to density limits under a range of easing measures announced by both State Premiers yesterday.

In New South Wales from the beginning of Friday, 18 February the following adjustments will be made to the current settings:

  • No density limits (previously one person per 2sqm for hospitality venues);
  • QR check-ins will only be required for nightclubs, and for all music festivals with more than 1,000 people. Hospitals, aged and disability facilities may use their existing systems for recording visitors;
  • Singing and dancing will be permitted at all venues, except music festivals, where singing and dancing can recommence from 25 February;
  • The recommendation to work from home will change and be returned to the employer’s discretion.

That final recommendation, will hopefully start to see people return to office work and subsequently help bring more people into metro venues.

From the beginning of Friday, 25 February 2022, the following adjustments will be made to the settings:

  • Masks will only be mandated on public transport, planes, and indoors at airports, hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, corrections facilities, and indoor music festivals with more than 1,000 people;
  • Masks are encouraged for indoor settings where you cannot maintain a safe distance from others and for customer-facing retail staff to protect vulnerable people who must access these premises and services.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said: “We don’t want restrictions in place for any longer than necessary and with hospitalisation and ICU rates trending downwards now is the right time to make sensible changes.

“As we continue to move forward out of the pandemic we are ensuring that we keep people safe and people in jobs so life can return to normal as quickly and safely as possible.

“Our frontline health staff have done an incredible job protecting the community and we need everyone to step up and do the right thing and get their booster shots to help keep themselves, their family, and the community safe.”

From 6pm this evening in Victoria, density quotients of one person per two square meters in place at hospitality and entertainment venues will be removed. Indoor dancefloors at these venues can also re-open.

Under the new pandemic orders, QR code check-in requirements will no longer be in place at retail venues, schools (including childcare and early childhood) and for employees at many workplaces. QR code check-in and vaccination check requirements will remain in all ‘vaccinated economy’ settings such as hospitality and entertainment venues.

Premier Daniel Andrews said: “We always said these measures wouldn’t be in place for a minute longer than they are needed, and with hospitalisation numbers decreasing and less pressure on our health system, now is a sensible time to make changes.

“We’re grateful to everyone who has been doing the right thing, helping to reduce the impact of this virus on the community, our healthcare system and our economy.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of TheShout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both TheShout and Bars and Clubs.

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