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NSW will allow up to 50 patrons in pubs, restaurants and cafes from June 1, in an unbelievably good sign that things are Getting Back To Normal.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian made the announcement Friday afternoon.

“This decision has been made with expert health advice and both businesses and patrons will be subject to strict rules and guidelines,” Berejiklian said.

There will of course be restrictions. Bookings will still legally be maxed at 10 people, so no major group bookings for now. The four-square-metre rule is still in effect, so smaller venues will not be to reach that 50 patron limit. And you’ll still need to be seated at a table, even if it’s a pub.

“There is no mingling, no standing around,” Berejiklian said.

“There are strict guidelines in place, which will ensure that we can do this safely.”

pub waitlist
You can just TASTE it.

Those strict guidelines include venues ensuring social distancing and COVID-19 safety measures, such as requiring you to leave your name and number when you visit the venue.

It’s a move designed to boost the economy, with Berejiklian acknowledging some businesses simply won’t bounce back from this.

“But for those who are viable, for those who have managed to hang on, we’re ensuring that we can work together to provide that safe environment,” she said.

“Things will be very different. Imagine even something as simple as having joint cutlery on a table won’t be able to exist anymore. A simple buffet won’t exist anymore.”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard then stepped in with a few analogies, which are…. something. He described the virus as neither a “high jumper” nor a “long jumper”, meaning if you stay 1.5 metres apart you should be fine. He also said we’re all “effectively soldiers in a war against this virus” which like, okay man, sure. Go forth and fight the virus by going to the pub. I’ll back it.

The announcement also indicated that NSW will be moving to Step 2 of the three-step plan to reopen Australia. If you’ll recall, Scott Morrison said earlier this month Step 2 means up to 20 people will be allowed in homes, gyms, cinemas and beauty parlours will reopen, and some interstate travel will be allowed.

However, we don’t have confirmation on that yet. Morrison’s outline was a guide for the states to implement, so hang tight for now.

NSW residents are still allowed five people over, to exercise outside, and to get down to the pub with their 10 closest mates, so we’ll have to just enjoy that for now.