Harsher social distancing restrictions have been reintroduced in New South Wales as the state grapples with its new coronavirus outbreaks.
All clubs, cafes and restaurants in the state will be limited to a maximum of 300 customers from Friday, with owners forced to take down contact details and register them online.
The number of people per booking or table has also been reduced from 20 people to ten, meaning big parties are no longer welcome.
Tighter restrictions have also been introduced for weddings, limiting the number of guests to 150.
Wedding receptions will also take a hit as dancing and mingling are banned, with guests being urged to remain seated instead.
Funerals will also be impacted, with venues allowed a maximum of 100 attendees.
Businesses breaching the strict new rules could face fines of up to $55,000, and a further $27,500 fine could apply if offences continue.
All pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants will be limited to a maximum of 300 customers from Friday (pictured, diners outside a Sydney cafe)
Wedding receptions will be a little different as dancing and mingling are banned, with guests being urged to remain seated instead (pictured, a couple outside Sydney Opera House)
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new rules were about reducing the risk for transmission, after similar restrictions were slapped on pubs last Friday.
‘We are at a crucial stage of the pandemic in NSW – we want venues strictly implementing their COVID-Safe plans and customers abiding by the rules of the venue they are in,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘It is critical people remember when they are at a venue they remain seated. This reduces the risk of transmission.’
She said the state has the chance to get ahead of the virus and control the spread if residents limit their activities and practise social distancing over the next few weeks.
‘If you cannot guarantee social distancing where you’re going … you must wear a mask,’ she told reporters in Sydney.
Punters must now be seated at pubs (picture, a group of tradesman having a beer at a pub on June 1 when restrictions lifted)
An investigation was launched into the Golden Sheaf in Double Bay after pictures emerged of a crowded line outside the venue (pictured on July 7)
‘We encourage everybody to limit their behaviour or activity in the next few weeks especially around large crowds.’
What are the new rules in NSW?
Compliance measures are imposed on pubs, restaurants, bars cafés and clubs.
1. Limiting group bookings to a maximum of ten people
2. Mandatory COVID Safe plans and registration as a COVID Safe Business
3. A digital record must be created within 24 hours.
4. Weddings and corporate events will be limited to 150 people subject to the four square metre rule.
5. Funerals and places of worship will be limited to 100 people
The restrictions come as the number of virus cases continue to climb in NSW with 19 new cases reported on Thursday.
Most of the new cases have been linked to known Sydney clusters at the Crossroads Hotel and the Thai Rock restaurant.
There are currently 94 patients being treated for coronavirus in NSW.
While most cases have been linked to known clusters, community transmission continue and NSW Health is calling on people across the state to increase their efforts to stop the virus spreading.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard warned residents not to get complacent, maintain strict social distancing and get tested with even the slightest symptoms.
He has also urged Sydneysiders to avoid a Black Lives Matter protest planned for Sydney this weekend as the number of cases continues to rise.
‘Now is not the right time to have people on the streets and intermingling with each other…now is the time to be cautious.’
The new figures come as Victoria records its third-worst day for daily infections since the pandemic began with 403 cases reported.
The state also saw five more deaths due to the virus.
The number trails behind only Wednesday’s record figure of 484 cases and the 428 infections confirmed by Premier Daniel Andrews last Friday.
Mr Andrews said four of the deaths in the state over the past 24 hours were people who were in aged care – while one was a man aged in his 50s.
The restrictions will also halve group bookings from 20 to ten, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said
Pubs and restaurants in NSW could be forced to shut their doors again if the state’s coronavirus infections continue to rise (pictured, a reopened Sydney pub on June 1)