Dipti Singh

Brad Hazzard, NSW Health Minister, has said it is crucial to continue high testing levels, especially as restaurants and bars open their doors to more patrons as the state eases COVID-19 restrictions. Two out of five recently confirmed cases in NSW were people within the age bracket of 20-29. As pubs and restaurants reopen, this could be a significant threat to community transmission. In NSW, an alert has been issued to young people as the state prepares to alleviate more restrictions on COVID-19. The Health Minister also emphasised the need for younger people to take responsibility when they eventually head out while enjoying these new freedoms. Young people see themselves as invincible, but they could unwittingly infect someone more vulnerable if they got a mild form of the virus.

“We need everybody in the community to understand that just one little symptom of anything that looks like a cough, a cold or flu, go and get tested,” Mr Hazzard said. “It’s free, it costs you nothing, but it could save your life and somebody else’s.” One suggestion, proposed by Mr Hazzard, was in order to make touch tracing infections easier, all the patrons at a venue should have to submit their name and phone number on entry. 

Mr Hazzard refused to comment on the details of the regulations, restating that consultation with industry was ongoing, but underlined that social distancing was essential to the success of eased restrictions. Health Minister has declared a $34 million plan to train physiotherapists to cope with the virus-associated ‘horrific lung conditions’ occurring.

Under the June 1 eased restrictions on COVID-19, hospitality venues will be required to adhere to strict operating rules and regulations: 

  • Every employer must have space of at least four-square metres 
  • Reservations cannot be larger than 10 people 
  • No diners can stand, mingle or dance 
  • Buffets and shared cutlery are also forbidden