Tourism Accommodation Australia National CEO, Michael Johnson, has praised the NSW Government for continuing to loosen restrictions on movement and gatherings, saying the hotel industry is ready for what will be a “real difference”.
From 1 July, there will be no upper limit on the number of people able to gather in an indoor space, as long as a 4sq metre rule is observed and adequate seating is available for all patrons. In addition, stadiums and sporting grounds with capacity for 40,000 and under can allow 25% of this to attend live sporting matches – a move expected to stimulate the evening economy as patrons return to restaurants and pubs.
Johnson said many hotels were ready to welcome event bookings secured for July while adhering to the social restrictions and new cleaning protocols.
“Thanks to the NSW Government’s weekend announcement, a number of these conferences will now be green-lighted with a COVID-safe checklist plan in place to ensure social distancing and robust hygiene and cleaning protocols occur,” he said.
Johnson said the relaxation was welcome, with many hotels operating at lower than 20% capacity in recent months.
“Opening up sporting and cultural events to 25% of normal capacity from 1 July is the first step in creating the much needed drivers which will finally attract customers back into our venues,” Johnson added.
NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said the community has worked extremely hard but warned against lingering complacency which always had the potential to worsen the situation.
“We can’t let our guard down. People need to come forward for testing with the mildest of symptoms and practice good hand hygiene and social distancing,” the Premier said.