The NSW government has declared June 1 to be “our happy hour”, with restrictions eased to allow 50 patrons in pubs.
Deputy Premier and Regional Minister for NSW John Barilaro said the move would help regional towns.
“It’s our happy hour, time to wine and dine,” he said. “We want to see people visiting the regions visiting hotels, pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes.”
The government announced earlier this week that NSW residents would be allowed to travel regionally, including for holidays, from June 1.
“Today’s announcement will allow regional businesses and economies to embrace, with the opening up of travel, the opportunity for businesses right into the June long weekend to fill their registers, ” Barilaro said.
“We know this industry is so important, right across the state. More than a quarter of a million people are employed in the hospitality sector, and we know, with the losses that we’ve seen in employment, this is a sector that could quickly put jobs back into the economy.”
However, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian noted there were rules hospitality venues and patrons would need to follow.
“Things will be very different,” she said. “Imagine even something as simple as having joint cutlery on a table won’t be able to exist anymore.
“A simple buffet won’t be able exist anymore. There will be strict guidelines to ensure this happens safely because the last thing we want to do is have to shut businesses down because they haven’t complied.
“And the last thing we don’t want to do is go backwards.
“We know this is a big step. But the regulations and rules we’ll be putting in place will be very strict to make sure safety is paramount. But it is a significant time in the history of our state.
“We have a no-regrets policy, firstly in keeping the community safe, making sure everything we do is to protect lives and save lives. But also in relation to making sure people aren’t long-term unemployed, and that we can bounce back from the devastating economic shock.”
Pictured main: Young Henrys, Newtown.