NSW to ease coronavirus restrictions from Friday

After assessing National Cabinet’s new framework, Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday that the following restrictions will be eased in New South Wales (NSW) from 15 May:

  • Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people
  • Cafes and restaurants can seat 10 patrons at any one time
  • Up to 5 visitors to a household at any one time
  • Weddings up to 10 guests
  • Indoor funerals up to 20 mourners, outdoor funerals up to 30
  • Religious gatherings/places of worship up to 10 worshippers
  • Use of outdoor equipment with caution
  • Outdoor pools open with restrictions.

Much of Australia has now made tentative steps to unwind a national shutdown which began almost two months ago to contain the spread of coronavirus.

“That doesn’t mean it is an open invitation to be having a dinner party at every house every night,” said Andrews in a televised media conference.

“We have to use our common sense. We have to be proportionate (and) recognise that this is far from over.”

Children in NSW, which includes Sydney, and No. 3 state Queensland began returning to school on Monday on a limited basis after an extended break due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The NSW government said it has delivered thousands of litres of soap and hand sanitiser to schools, as well as personal protective equipment and temperature monitors. Class sizes will be reduced and activities will involve minimal physical contact between the students, many of whom have not attended school since mid-March.

Final year students, whose exams were interrupted by the virus response, would attend at least three days per week in class, Berejiklian said, with the plan to return to full-time class attendance for all students by the end of May.

NSW and Victoria account for most of Australia’s 6,941 confirmed coronavirus cases and 97 deaths, and both reported single-digit increases in new cases in the 24 hours to Monday.