A Return to Pubs as NSW COVID-19 Restrictions Ease

By AAP
June 1, 2020 Updated: June 1, 2020

NSW has recorded three new COVID-19 cases as restaurants can now welcome 50 patrons and the doors reopen at beauty salons after restrictions were eased.

Sydney’s pubs and clubs have been brought back to life with 50 or more people allowed inside as part of the state’s eased COVID-19 restrictions.

The Woolpack Hotel in Redfern was one such venue excited to welcome back locals keen for a craft beer.

Hotel licensee Ryan Gardam told AAP his staff had put in long hours to prepare the space for Monday. 

“It’s been hectic here and pretty much a scramble since day one of closing but we were happy to be able to invite more of our community back,” Gardam said on Monday. 

Despite many ups and downs, Gardam said he was determined to keep his doors open through the whole pandemic in some form as a hope for his staff and the local community.

“We’re just taking it one day at a time, really half a day at a time actually. I’m not assuming anything at the moment.”

Hotel local Leigh Neville was delighted to see the Woolpack lively once more as he sipped his favourite hazy IPA. 

The self-confessed beer snob said he had missed the daily ventures to the pub with his Brussels Griffon dogs Lexie and Henry. 

“We’d walk to the nearby park every day and then we’d come in for a couple of beers, the dogs missed the staff,” he told AAP on Monday. 

“I hope everyone’s sensible and they can stay open.”

Along with pubs and clubs, beauty salons, museums, galleries, libraries, zoos and aquariums reopened on Monday.

People are also able to head to the state’s regions for holidays with camping grounds and caravan parks reopening on Monday after recreational regional travel was banned in March.

The state’s alpine region won’t be open in time for the June long weekend but will welcome snowhounds back to the slopes from June 22.

The state on Monday reported three new COVID-19 cases from more than 5700 tests. The new cases are all returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

Meanwhile, public transport patronage is at about 30 percent of pre-pandemic levels with some services already surpassing virus-related capacity.

Most of the new services are buses and trains connecting to western Sydney.

“The aim of the game here is to make sure we don’t see a second wave of infections,” Transport Minister Andrew Constance told reporters.

Public transport patronage in Sydney jumped about 10 percent on Monday morning as restrictions were lifted.