Although NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on May 10 that the state's restaurants and cafés would be allowed to reopen on May 15 with limits on patron numbers and space requirements, it was unclear whether pubs that served food would be included. Now we have a definitive answer: no.
In her daily media briefing on May 12, the premier confirmed that pubs will not be allowed to trade, even if they commit to only serving food. The reason, as outlined by the state’s executive director of health protection, Dr Jeremy McAnulty, is that people are more likely to linger in a pub restaurant setting, increasing the opportunities for transmission.
Any eateries that do choose to open for seated dining will only be able to welcome a maximum of 10 patrons at a time. Each individual diner will also need to be allotted four square metres of space, although it is not yet clear if this will have an impact on the way groups of more than two people can be seated at the same table.
An answer to this question might emerge as time progresses. We’ll keep you up to date with any clarifications as we get them.