The hospitality industry is rejoicing following the easing of restrictions on patron numbers, commencing October 23. Although we have a long way to go before things get back to normal, little improvements can make a huge difference to businesses who have suffered substantial loss of income in the past 8 months.

According to Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the NSW Government remains focused on managing COVID-19 and opening up the economy in a COVID-Safe way.

“These changes will provide a big boost to our hospitality venues,” Ms Berejiklian said in a media release.

“As we ease restrictions and find new ways to get businesses moving it is vital that customers and venues continue to be COVID-Safe.”

The Current Restrictions

  • Venues can now host one person every two square metres in outdoor spaces, provided they record details of all guests via electronic means, such as QR codes. Indoors, the limit remains at one person per four square metres.
  • Corporate functions can now have up to 300 people provided the premises has a COVID-Safe plan in place. Customers must still remain at one person per four square metres indoors and one person per two square metres outdoors.
  • Hospitality venues can now accept bookings of up to 30 people (increased from 10) and the number of people allowed at one table has also increased to 30. Children inclusive.
  • In food courts, the maximum is one person per four square metres.
  • For weddings, the happy couple can have up to 150 guests, or one person per four square metres – whichever is less. Funerals can have up to 100 attendees, including children, and ensuring the four-metre square rule applies. Coming up, and on December 1, 2020 weddings will be permitted to have up to 300 guests, provided they adhere to the square metre rule limits for indoors and outdoors.
  • If you operate an entertainment facility, such as a cinema or theatre, you can sell tickets for seated events at 50% capacity, with a maximum of 1,000 tickets sold; or you can use the four square metre rule with no maximum number of people. Events must be ticketed with ticket holders assigned to a seating area.

COVID-19 Safety Plan

It is essential for all businesses to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place if they wish to open to capacity. This plan focuses on a few important features, including physical distancing, the four square metre rule, face masks, self-isolation and quarantine. If you do not have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place, you’re at risk of a fine if you open your premises to the public.

The plan ensures you are looking after the wellbeing of your customers and staff, and that you have physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning, and record keeping measures in place. If you need to simplify your plan, you can use H&L’s handy reopening checklist to ensure you’re not only set up for a safe reopening, but a prosperous one as well.

Those working and running businesses in the hospitality industry are hopeful that restrictions will continue to relax in the lead up the busy Christmas holiday period.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the easing of restrictions was another important step in driving our economic recovery while returning to life in a COVID-Safe way.

“The easing of restrictions and safely increasing capacities will lead directly to more jobs and more opportunities for businesses across NSW, which is integral for the State’s recovery,” Mr Perrottet said.


H&L POS – working with you to help you grow your business
H&L POS has been delivering POS solutions with extensive back of house and staff management systems to the hospitality industry for more than 30 years. As hospitality people at heart, H&L understand the critical requirements for each food and beverage operation. We have staff in every state of Australia providing direction and advice as you grow and as technology changes.
Call us at 1800 778 340, email or fill in the form below to discuss your venue’s needs.