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Live music at Rocks Brewery and Bar
Photograph: Anna Kucera

Outdoor live gigs and increased venue capacities are now allowed across NSW

Get ready for a summer of music, al fresco dining and new friends from across the ditch

Maxim Boon

The NSW government is rolling back several more social restrictions as of October 16. The latest changes will allow a greater variety of entertainment to take place and for venues to host more patrons. Under the new rules, a music rehearsal or performance may be held with up to 500 people in attendance, as long as it is in an outdoor public space and the organisers have registered a CovidSafe plan.

Hospitality venues will now only be required to allot two square metres of space per patron, as opposed to the four square metres that has been a requirement since May. This, in combination with plans to create outdoor dining precincts across the Sydney CBD and surrounding areas, could allow certain venues to operate with even higher capacities than they had before the national shutdown, as long as this does not exceed the maximum capacity limit of 300 people.

As NSW prepares for a summer quite unlike any it has experienced before, many businesses are braced for the impact of drastically reduced tourism. However, some overseas tourists will be allowed to enter Australia from today, just in time for the sunny season. The first phase of the trans-Tasman travel bubble comes into effect as of October 16, and will allow New Zealanders to travel to Australia, although currently, Australians are not yet permitted to travel to New Zealand.

The Rocks has a new outdoor dining hub, and it's open to the public right now.

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