Australia’s Most-Populous State to Let 50 People in Pubs, Cafes

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(Bloomberg) --

Australia’s most-populous state will allow pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants to have as many as 50 customers from June 1, as authorities try to breathe life back into the economy.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that strict social distancing guidelines, including ensuring premises allow for 4 square meters per person, would be in force.

“This decision has been made with expert health advice,” she said in a statement Friday. “All customers must be seated and no bookings of more than 10 allowed, in addition to many other conditions which must be met.”

Australia’s Most-Populous State to Let 50 People in Pubs, Cafes

Australia has a three-stage plan to reopen the economy by the end of July, after lockdown restrictions smashed businesses, particularly in the hospitality and services industry. The nation’s eight state and territory governments are moving at their own pace, depending on the number of Covid-19 infections in their jurisdictions.

New South Wales has seen about 40% of Australia’s roughly 7,000 cases of the virus and about half of the 101 deaths. It is still seeing a handful of new cases each day, while South Australia and Western Australia have gone several days without any rise.

There’s growing discord between the state governments, with Berejiklian calling for state borders to be reopened to allow for tourism. Queensland and Western Australia have been particularly vocal in rejecting that demand.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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