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Photograph: Anna Kucera

NSW opens up further, allowing for a much more normal Christmas

However, you might have to go back to work

Maxim Boon

Due in large part to NSW’s total suppression of community transmission in recent weeks, premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that a range of restrictions will be eased in time for the festive period, meaning this Christmas won’t look too different to previous years.

From December 1, up to 50 people will be allowed to gather at the private residence, so long as they’re outdoors, so Christmas and New Year's house parties are back on the cards for those with big back yards. Up to 50 people will also be allowed to gather in public spaces such as parks, a notable increase from the previous cap of 30 people.

There’s good news for smaller hospitality venues of up to 200 square metres, which will be permitted to adopt the ‘two-square-metre’ rule and accommodate up to 50 patrons at a time from December 1.

Mike Rodrigues, the chair of the Night Time Industries Association and managing director of Time Out Australia, welcomed the changes, saying, “Size isn’t everything, but moving to the two-square metre rule will bring big benefits, especially for smaller venues that lack outdoor space. In some cases it will mean doubling a venue’s capacity, allowing operators to serve more customers and employ more staff.”

Perhaps one of the most significant changes to current guidelines will come into effect from December 13. Until now, employers have been encouraged to allow employees to work from home where possible. However, work from home orders will now be lifted, allowing employees to return to the workplace full time. While it seems likely that many employers will maintain some level of remote working for the foreseeable future, for some of us it might soon be time to bid a fond farewell to WFH.

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