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Back to the bar! Australians enjoy beers and dinner with mates after coronavirus restrictions lift

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Quick to take advantage of the easing of coronavirus restrictions, Australians flocked to bars, restaurants and even casinos on Friday night.

Punters were seen queuing outside popular haunts as they tried to bag a table, with some open for the first time since lockdown began in March.

The doors to cinemas and even nightclubs were flung open in the Northern Territory, which has had no active COVID-19 cases since May, as it entered stage three of their ‘roadmap’ at midday on Friday.  

Territorians enjoyed the most eased restrictions in the country by restarting team sports, stadium events and hitting the pub for a drink, without being required to eat food.

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Tasmania also moved to serve drinks without a food order from Friday afternoon ahead of the long weekend. 

But in New South Wales, it was restaurants that proved the most popular, with locals looking to end months of home cooking.  

Couples are seen queuing outside Colombo Social in Sydney on Friday night (pictured) as residents hit the town with coronavirus restrictions eased

Clubgoers are seen queuing outside Opium nightclub in Darwin (pictured)

The club was one of the first in Australia to open on Friday (pictured)

Clubgoers are seen queuing outside Opium nightclub in Darwin (pictured), one of the first in Australia to open on Friday

THE NORTHERN TERRITORY

The NT entered stage three at midday on Friday.

Entertainment venues including cinemas, concert halls and nightclubs, all flung open their doors.

Revellers could even go to the pub for a drink without ordering food, while team sports returned to the pitch.

Arenas and stadiums opened to the public again, but if crowds stretch above 500 people, the event needed a separately approved COVID-19 Safety Plan.

While the NT has made a massive leap in their return to ‘normal’, Territorians must continue to follow physical distancing and practice good hand hygiene. 

A minimum space of 1.5 metres is required between people not known to each other. Surfaces that are touched by more than one person should be regularly cleaned.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner says it’s an exciting time for the region, but has called on locals to remain vigilant and to continue to practice good hygiene and physical distancing where possible.

‘I know at times it can feel like we have nothing to worry about,’ he said.

‘But the danger of COVID-19 is very much still out there and we’ve got to keep being the best to keep the Territory we all love safe.’

Bar tenders are seen preparing cocktails for punters in Sydney's Newtown on Friday night (pictured)

Bar tenders are seen preparing cocktails for punters in Sydney’s Newtown on Friday night (pictured)

WHAT CAN YOU DO IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY?

AS OF MIDDAY ON JUNE 5: 

Operate all licensed gaming activities including a TAB.

Resume officiating, participating and supporting the playing of team sports such as football, basketball, soccer and netball.

Attend any cinema or theatre, concert hall, music hall, dance hall, nightclub or any other similar entertainment venue in approved configuration.

Attend an amusement venue.

Attend a bar without food being consumed.

Operate and access all previously restricted services at a place that provides beauty therapy and/or cosmetic services including facial care.

Operate and access all previously restricted services at a place that provides tattooing or body art such as branding and piercing.

Attend an amusement park, community centre, recreation centre or play centre.

Attend an arena, stadium, sporting facility including community and sporting competitions with spectators in approved seating configuration. However, if above 500 people the event requires a separately approved COVID-19 Safety Plan.

All businesses, facilities and services previously restricted can now resume ensuring adherence to key principles.

SOURCE: Northern Territory Government 

TASMANIA 

From 3pm on Friday, Tasmanians could buy a beer without any food being ordered, with up to 40 people allowed in a venue.

The state government announced on Tuesday it was moving to stage two restrictions on Friday, ten days ahead of schedule.

Beauty therapy businesses and tattooists also reopened and funeral limits have risen to 50 people.

Police are urging people to stay safe across the Queen’s Birthday weekend, with social distancing requirements still in place.

They’ll be patrolling entertainment districts and roads, with camping, holiday home visits and overnight stays in accommodation also permitted from 3pm.

‘We want people to enjoy themselves … but we all need to do so safely,’ Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Higgins said in a statement.

‘We’re asking Tasmanians to make sure they’re adhering to the restrictions that are still in place, keeping a safe distance from others wherever possible and being courteous to those around them.’

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The state has gone 20 days without a new COVID-19 case and has just three active ones.

Couples are seen enjoying dinner outside, and socially distanced, in Sydney's Newtown on Friday night (pictured)

Couples are seen enjoying dinner outside, and socially distanced, in Sydney’s Newtown on Friday night (pictured)

Staff are seen taking down names and numbers to allow contact tracing in Sydney's Hartsyard restaurant on Friday night (pictured)

Staff are seen taking down names and numbers to allow contact tracing in Sydney’s Hartsyard restaurant on Friday night (pictured)

STAGE TWO IN TASMANIA 

  • Weddings can have 40 guests
  • Religious ceremonies, private worship and church services, including baptisms, can have 40 attendees
  • 50 mourners can attend funerals
  • Visitors to households is increasing to 10 people
  • Gatherings at businesses increase to 20
  • 40 attendees per cinema
  • 80 attendees museums, galleries and historic sites 
  • 40 attendees (with an additional number of 20 people specified for performers) at theatres and concert venues
  • 40 people at zoos and wildlife parks
  • Restaurant and cafe gatherings increase to 40
  • Pubs, clubs and bars can open and serve food and/or drinks to seated patrons, with a gathering limit of 40

SOURCE: Tasmanian Government 

QUEENSLAND

Queensland has been in stage two of their coronavirus restrictions since Monday. 

Queenslanders are able to travel statewide and pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes can seat up to 20 patrons.

Gyms reopened their doors and gatherings of up to 20 people are now allowed.  

Stage three is scheduled to be introduced on July 10 but could be subject to change.   

A bustling restaurant is seen in Sydney's Newtown on Friday night as restrictions continued to ease (pictured)

A bustling restaurant is seen in Sydney’s Newtown on Friday night as restrictions continued to ease (pictured)

NEW SOUTH SALES

Sydney’s pubs and clubs were brought back to life on Monday with up to 50 people allowed inside as part of the state’s eased COVID-19 restrictions. 

Beauty salons, museums, galleries, libraries, zoos and aquariums were also reopened on Monday.

But on Friday, it was restaurants that did the heaviest trade, with punters eager to get their hands on a meal and a drink. 

Residents are also able to head to the state’s regions for holidays this weekend, with camping grounds and caravan parks reopening after recreational regional travel was banned in March.

The NSW government on Tuesday announced up to 10 people would be allowed to partake in classes of dance, yoga or pilates from June 13, while up to 100 people will be permitted inside an indoor venue such as a gym. 

Friends are seen catching up over dinner and drinks in Sydney on Friday night (pictured) as restrictions eased

Friends are seen catching up over dinner and drinks in Sydney on Friday night (pictured) as restrictions eased

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Licensed venues across the state opened on Monday, with a limit of 80 patrons at a time, divided across at least four areas.

Customers can also have a drink without ordering food, but must be seated. 

Stage two of eased restrictions in SA also allows cinemas, theatres, galleries, museums, wineries, beauty salons and gyms to reopen.

Non-contact indoor and outdoor sport can resume while 50 people can attend a funeral.

Entertainment venues including cinemas, concert halls and nightclubs, opened their doors in the NT on Friday

Entertainment venues including cinemas, concert halls and nightclubs, opened their doors in the NT on Friday 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 7,240

New South Wales: 3,106

Victoria: 1,678

Queensland: 1,060

Western Australia: 592

South Australia: 440

Tasmania: 228

Australian Capital Territory: 107

Northern Territory: 29

TOTAL CASES: 7,240

RECOVERED: 6,649

DEATHS: 102

Tourist hotspots in Western Australia’s north are ready to welcome back visitors after authorities agreed to lift coronavirus-related biosecurity restrictions.

Commonwealth restrictions on the Kimberley, Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku and parts of the East Pilbara will be removed on Friday.

But while popular destinations such as Broome and Kununurra will reopen, 274 remote indigenous communities will remain off-limits.

A raft of COVID-19 restrictions are being eased on Saturday, including raising the limit on gatherings to 100 people, with 300 allowed in venues with multiple divided spaces.

Many businesses will resume trading, including beauty parlours, cinemas and gyms, while Perth Zoo will again be open to the public after closing for the first time in its 122-year history.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY 

The ACT are in Step 2.1 of Canberra’s Recovery Plan.

It is permitted to visit NSW for a holiday and outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people allowed.

Weddings and funerals have a 20 guest limit inside, and 30 outside 

Deckbar publican Jason Hanna in Darwin on May 15 after coronavirus restrictions were eased

Deckbar publican Jason Hanna in Darwin on May 15 after coronavirus restrictions were eased 

 

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