NSW will see the 50-person limit dropped from Wednesday, 1 July for indoor venues as food courts reopened across the state over the weekend.
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The announcement comes as 20 people are now allowed for home visitation and outdoor gatherings.
The bigger licensed venues of Port Stephens are expected to open up their establishments in full to locals and visitors alike as July kicks off and will be welcome news for the local hospitality sector.
Strict measures still apply around the four square metre rule with increased hygiene and cleaning processes to be enforced as NSW recorded its first case of community transmission of CoronaVirus for more than two weeks.
Meanwhile across Port Stephens the larger shopping centres were finally able to service patrons in their open seated areas looking for a bite to eat from last Saturday.
Takeaway had been the only option for people for the last three months.
Salamander Bay Square welcomed the news in a statement saying it was a step forward for their retailers.
“We are pleased to be able to open the food court seating area as announced by the State Government,” said the statement.
“There is limited seating capacity of 50 available to comply with current restrictions, so we appreciate all our customers playing their part to help stop the spread (of COVID-19).
“Please remember to keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others whilst visiting us.”
Raymond Terrace, MarketPlace also opened up their indoor dining stating that “tables and chairs have been strategically placed to ensure that social distancing is maintained to ensure the health and wellbeing of customers and staff.”
The 50-person limit has also been removed for funerals with services only restricted by the one person per four square metre rule.
By Mitch LEES