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Small restaurants and cafes in New South Wales will have a bit of relief from today, with an easing of density rules for outdoor dining.
Hospitality venues are required to keep to a rule of no more than one customer per four squares of floorspace, which significantly limited the maximum capacity for small venues. From today, venues can double their available outdoor dining space and adhere to a two-square metre rule, provided they use QR codes to keep an electronic record of everyone who dined there.
The four square metre rule will continue to apply to indoor dining.
The eased restrictions also allow for up to 500 people to attend an open-air concert – 500 people! at once! – provided they stay seated and remain four metres apart.
The first international tourists to Australia in six months will touch down today, with three flights from New Zealand arriving as part of the new trans-Tasman travel bubble.
People who have spent the past 14-days in New Zealand are now able to travel to New South Wales, the ACT, and the Northern Territory without having to undergo quarantine upon arrival. However they will have to quarantine for two weeks on return to New Zealand. Prime minister Scott Morrison flagged yesterday that if the trans-Tasman file works, he is in early talks to consider expanding it to other nations that have been successful in controlling the coronavirus including Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.
Speaking of Morrison, he is still stuck in Queensland. His RAAF plane was grounded due to “technical problems”. Because of this, the national cabinet meeting scheduled for today has been postponed.
Premiers and chief ministers now phone in to national cabinet via secure video conference, and I am reasonably sure Queensland has the internet. But, for some reason, the PM won’t be zooming in.
It would have been the first national cabinet meeting in a month, and the first since the federal budget was released. On the agenda was the proposed expansion of the Howard Springs quarantine facility in the NT, which would allow Australia to increase its returned traveller caps and underwrite further repatriation flights.
Meanwhile, thousands of people in Shepparton are awaiting the results of their test for Covid-19, and hundreds more are still expected to present for testing. More than 400 contacts of three people who tested positive to Covid-19 in the northern Victorian town this week are already undergoing 14-day self-isolation. The virus has been in the community, undetected, for two weeks. And as Matilda Boseley reports, Shepparton is particularly vulnerable to an outbreak.
Let’s crack on. You can contact me on twitter at @callapilla or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Coronavirus Australia: NZ tourists fly in on first day of trans-Tasman travel bubble as national cabinet postponed | Australia news