Restless punters across New South Wales will be permitted to to take regional holidays from June 1, Premier Gladys Berejiklian says, marking a significant loosening of the state’s coronavirus lockdown protocols.
There’s good news for the state’s cultural institutions, too – but there are still some hefty COVID-19 caveats.
Speaking in Sydney on Wednesday morning, Berejiklian confirmed that travel restrictions within the state will be lifted from the start of next month.
Holiday-makers have been advised to plan ahead and book accomodation over the phone or online where possible, in order to curtail a bum rush to the state’s favourite getaway locations.
“We want people to enjoy themselves and feel free, but please know nothing we do is the same during a pandemic,” Berejiklian said.
In keeping with the state’s open-border policy, Berejikilian said NSW will also be open to interstate visitors when the travel restrictions lift.
The state’s art galleries, libraries, and museums will also be permitted to open their doors from June 1, she said, provided those institutions take extra care to minimise crowds.
Berejiklian suggested patrons may choose to call ahead to suss if it’s safe to visit, adding that those facilities might choose to enact special visiting times for vulnerable punters.
Keeping a visitor log to help with contact-tracing is also a viable possibility, she said.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the state plans to go ahead with a ski season this year, but said it was unlikely that slopes would open before the June long weekend.
“Holidaymakers should be aware that ski resorts will likely need time to put COVID plans into place and you should make contact before visiting,” he said in a separate statement.
There’s promising news for cafes and restaurants, too. Speaking to News.com.au, Berejiklian said lifting the number of dine-in patrons to 20 per premise is “definitely on the cards.”
That hardly means the danger has passed, mind you. NSW recorded four new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. Those four individuals are all returning travellers and are now in quarantine.
The state recorded one further death as a result of the virus, bringing the national death toll to 100.