NSW is officially tightening restrictions from next Friday. They’re nowhere near the Stage 3 restrictions Melburnians are living through, but they will significantly impact hospitality venues, which have already born the brunt of this pandemic.

The restrictions brought into pubs this week will be extended to all restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs. These restrictions include bookings limited to 10 people, and a maximum venue capacity of 300 people, regardless of size.

Weddings will be limited to 150 people, and must be “completely seated” with “no dancing, no mingling”. The same applies to corporate events.

Funerals and places of worship will be limited to 100 people. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said funerals had a lower limit because funerals are “emotional occasions where people know each other and that increases the risk of transmission”, which is bleak to say the least. All events must strictly adhere to the four-square-meter rule.

As for dinner parties / BBQs / smallish house parties: you’re still allowed up to 20 people in your home, but it’s recommended you don’t invite more than 10.

“We’re not going to change that at this stage but in the next little while we ask people to be thoughtful about who they welcome, how many they welcome and especially protect those most vulnerable,” Berejiklian said.

The new restrictions come into place from July 24, with no expected end date in sight.

NSW recorded eight new COVID-19 cases yesterday, with six of them acquired via community transmission. The number of outbreaks connected to the Crossroads Hotel cluster is at 42.

The state is officially on “high alert”, with authorities believing there is some community transmission.

“We are worried about any seeding that might have happened in Victoria, even a month or so ago that has been bubbling along beneath the surface,” Berejiklian said.

Victoria recorded 428 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, beating the previously set record for single-day new cases by a country mile. Face masks are now all-but-mandatory for Melburnians when out in public, and have been recommended to regional Victoria as well.

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