City News

New COVID-19 restrictions a blow for inner city nightlife

Singing and dancing have been banned in hospitality venues, entertainment facilities and major recreation facilities this week. Photo: Facebook/Taylor's.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

The newest batch of restrictions imposed by the NSW government has coarsened the road to COVID-19 recovery for inner city nightlife venues, as singing and dancing were banned by Premier Dominic Perrottet in hospitality venues, entertainment facilities and major recreation facilities this week.

Mr Perrottet conceded that the state would face a “difficult few weeks” as the Omicron variant continues to skyrocket COVID-19 cases throughout NSW, and comes after the national cabinet agreed to ease the strain of PCR testing clinics by no longer requiring those with a positive rapid antigen test to undergo a PCR test.

The new restrictions come as another setback for inner city nightlife venues after a disastrous two years following continual lockdowns throughout the state. The restrictions, which Mr Perrottet labelled “proportionate”, is expected to lift on January 27, and will not apply to weddings.

“Our people and the effort we have made to go out, to get vaccinated, to get boosted, has been key to opening up our society, to living alongside the virus,” Mr Perrottet said.

“The efforts that our people have made has kept New South Wales safe, has kept New South Wales open, and kept New South Wales strong.”

In addition to singing and dancing restrictions, elective surgeries will be suspended while major events may also be postponed, with the Premier saying that the latter may only occur once NSW Health “deems that event to be a high-risk event”, upon which COVID-safe plans will be discussed with organisers.

Following the changes made by the national cabinet this week, people recording a positive rapid antigen test will be asked to register their result with Service NSW under a new reporting system which will be made available from mid next week.

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