Since May 15, when the first lockdown restrictions on restaurants, communal gatherings and public spaces were eased, the NSW government has gradually added to the freedoms that people across the state can look forward to. On May 22, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that pubs, restaurants, cafes and clubs would be allowed to host up to 50 customers from June 1, and earlier in the week, museums, galleries, libraries and similar cultural institutions were also given the green-light to reopen from the beginning of next month, albeit with strict operating rules in place. Statewide travel for any purpose, including for holidays, will also be allowed from June 1.
It seems that June will continue to be a big month for NSW, with more businesses likely to reopen within weeks. In a 2GB Radio interview on May 22, deputy premier John Barilaro said that gyms, yoga studios and beauty salons would be amongst the next batch of reopenings “in a month or so”, adding that the state government was “working on a plan as we speak” to make these businesses viably ‘Covid safe’. This development would be consistent with the timeline of the federal government’s three-stage ‘road map’ for reopening the Australian economy, which aimed for gyms and beauticians to restart trading in June. However, each state and territory in Australia is in charge of how and when these national guidelines are actioned.
In Hong Kong, where the health crisis has been brought largely under control, gyms have now reopened and some of the safety measures that have been put in place could be an indication of what is likely to be introduced in NSW. For example, to protect gym users, perspex screens have been installed between pieces of equipment and the number of people allowed to participate in group fitness classes has been reduced. Outdoor gym equipment and fitness stations have already been reopened across New South Wales, and outdoor group fitness classes up to a maximum of ten people are also currently permitted.