Excited gamblers will be preparing to reopen pubs, as New South Wales prime minister Gladys Berejiklian announced that the coronavirus restrictions would be further relaxed.
From June 1, pubs and restaurants can have up to 50 guests at once, meaning poker machines are back in action.
A government spokesman said Daily Mail Australia’s slot machines can reopen as long as the food is served and the venue adheres to the 50-person per venue rule.
He said it is subject to health regulations and the agreement with the industry that they can comply with strict safety measures.
John Whelan, general manager of the NSW Australian Hotelier Association, welcomes the move and calls it an “important and positive step forward”.
Gamblers have saved up to $ 1.5 billion in the weeks since pubs, clubs, and casinos had to close on March 23 to slow the spread of COVID-19. The move left 75,000 NSW hotel employees out of work.
Australians saved $ 1.5 billion in the past month by not using poker machines (photo)
Major restaurants, such as Sydney’s world famous Mr Wong (pictured), will also have to close
“Today’s announcement will cover all areas of operation, if there are guests, all activists will be on the table in a hotel and that means either a bet with your friends on a Saturday afternoon or a meal,” Mr. Wheelan told Daily Mail Australia.
“It is a common sense decision – it will be particularly welcomed by our NSW hoteliers as the regional NSW opens up to travelers again,” he said.
“Hoteliers have rightly put the health and safety of staff, customers and the community first as we work together to curb the spread of COVID-19, but the virus has destroyed hotels and our staff.
“Today is an important step forward towards recovery for our industry and a welcome kick-start for the NSW economy.
“We look forward to the day when we can safely reopen our employees, re-hire our employees and serve a cold beer for our loyal customers.”
Under the relaxed rules, clubs and RSLs with multiple restaurants, cafes or bars on site can have 50 regular guests at each location.
Pictured: A sports bar in East Sydney in Kensington closed during the corona virus crisis
Gamblers have saved up to $ 1.5 billion in the weeks since pubs, clubs and casinos had to close on March 23 to slow down the spread of COVID-19
Customers must sit at tables and have four square feet per person, which means smaller bars and cafes cannot accommodate 50 people.
There are also no buffets or shared cutlery and bookings are limited to 10 people.
Diners will have to register their name and phone number when entering the property so they can be contacted in the event of an outbreak.
The announcement comes a week after cafes and restaurants were allowed to reopen with up to 10 customers.
Ms Berejiklian said on Friday that there would be strict guidelines to ensure that the distance measures are maintained.
“You have to sit at the table, you have to be served at the table.”
“There is no mixing, no standing. There are strict guidelines that ensure that we can do this safely.
The prime minister said she had taken the step of getting Australians back to work after 210,000 lost their jobs in the state in April.
There are no buffets or shared cutlery and bookings are limited to 10 people
“We ensure that people are not unemployed for a long time and that we can recover from the devastating economic shock,” she said.
Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro said the move was a major boost for regional areas.
“It’s our happy hour, time to eat and drink,” he said.
“We want people to visit the regions that visit hotels, pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes.
“Today’s announcement will enable regional companies and economies, with the opening of travel, to allow businesses to fill their registers until the long weekend in June.”
“A moral boost and the extra economic boost from pubs and clubs is what our communities need and I look forward to enjoying a beer in the bush with the locals soon.”
NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the government wants to do business quickly and safely and get people back to work.
“There are approximately 280,000 people employed in this sector of the economy and allowing locations to safely serve more customers will boost business and jobs,” said Perrottet.
“NSW is opening up to business again, and as we ease the restrictions, everyone must follow health and safety guidelines to ensure we are successful and continue.”