As NSW COVID-19 restrictions ease on June 1, what is opening and changing?
General rules about gatherings at homes or public spaces remain the same (five and 10 people maximum, respectively), but restaurants, pubs and cafes will be allowed to host 50 patrons – although they can only take group bookings of a maximum of 10 people.
Beauty and nail salons
While hairdressers and barbers could keep operating during the lockdown, beauty, waxing, tanning and nail salons will be allowed to reopen but serve no more than 10 clients at one time.
They must also follow a safety plan which should include measures such as removing magazines and tablets from waiting areas and designating a staff member to enforce physical distancing.
Rafaela Di Costanzo, who runs PerfettoBrows in Mosman, said when she first heard of the changes she was “really nervous and wasn’t sure if it was real”.
Her biggest worry was that she would lose clients to her competitors who she suspected were operating illegally during the lockdown.
Ms Di Costanzo kept in contact with them, telling them “I’m still here, I’m not going anywhere!” and kept an active social media presence.
She said she managed to keep all of her old clients, adding: “I’m so, so happy.”
Weddings and funerals
From Monday, up to 20 people can attend weddings and 50 people at funerals.
Up to 50 people will also be allowed to gather at churches, temples and other places of worship.
However health authorities have urged them to find alternatives to practices that might spread the virus like singing, sharing books and passing around the collection basket.
“Communal singing and chanting should not occur because of the high risk of transmission of the virus,” NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said.
“Instead, measures such as one singer standing at least three metres away from others would be safer.”
Cinemas and ski fields
Cinema chains are planning to reopen their doors in July, with Palace Cinemas announcing it will resume screenings on July 2, although with cinemas two-thirds empty.
Bigger chains such as Event, Hoyts and Village are planning their returns around the release of Christopher Nolan’s thriller Tenet on July 16.
NSW residents will be able to take a holiday anywhere in NSW from Monday, with a number of caravan parks and camping grounds reopening on the day.
Australia’s ski season usually kicks off on the June long weekend, but this year Thredbo will open on June 22 and Perisher on June 24.
Zoos and museums
Taronga Zoo will reopen after operating as a “virtual zoo” over the past couple of months. Museums, galleries, wildlife parks and aquariums will join them.
Cam Kerr, CEO of Taronga Conservation Society Australia, said guests would probably notice some changes to the usual experience.
“We’ve limited the number of guests on site at one time, guests, including zoo friends, will need to register their visit online before attending the zoo, and our indoor spaces, exhibits and dining areas will be restricted or may be closed to ensure we are in line with current state guidelines,” he said.
“The QBE Free–flight Bird Show and Seals for the Wild presentation will operate with limited seating, while keeper talks will not resume at this time.”
Public pools and libraries
While gyms and other fitness clubs still wait for permission to re-open, the restrictions on public pools stay the same: only outdoor pools may open and they are only allowed 10 patrons at a time, and one swimmer per lane.
Prince Alfred Park Pool and Victoria Park pool will reopen to lap swimming on Monday. The City of Sydney has implemented a booking system, with priority access to vulnerable members of the community.
The city is finalising its phased approach to reopening libraries, which will include click-and-collect options for people to borrow books and other items.
“I hope that the pandemic makes us better communicators, more respectful of each other and appreciative of what we have, and more supportive of the most vulnerable in our community,” Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
Back at the Hive
Daniel Startup of Hive Bar said the initial restrictions had been “pretty tough” and had feared they would have to close down.
After the first post-lockdown weekend, their takeaway licence came through – but they thought it was a one-off so they tried to sell as much stock as they could.
“Then we saw it was [indefinite] and it became more of a semi-long term plan,” he said.
“It was like throwing weight out of a sinking ship – then we realised we’d have to invest some money back into this to carry on.”
Hive Bar began selling takeaway cocktails, which Mr Startup said had a novelty value that helped them stay in business – people could also bring growlers and kegs to fill with beer, and they sold small bottles from a local brewery.
He hopes they can continue doing takeaway service in June.
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Matt Bungard is a journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald.