NSW'S hospitality sector has taken another big step ahead of Victoria on the road to COVID normal when patron limits at pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants change to allow one patron for every two square metres in outdoor areas from Friday.
But businesses must use an electronic QR code to maintain customer records as part of the easing of restrictions which also coincide with up to 500 people being allowed to attend outdoor seated music performances, subject to the four-square-metre rule.
Indoor restrictions will remain at four square metres with the changes announced by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
The changes will put NSW-based border businesses at an even bigger advantage compared to Victorian border towns.
Compulsory mask wearing rules also don't apply in NSW border communities including Albury.
"The hospitality sector, as well as being a major employer of our young people, is a such a critical part of the recovery of our devastated tourism industry and it is simply not viable for them to continue to operate under their current restrictions," the alliance said.
"They are haemorrhaging money to try and stay afloat.and keep their staff employed."
The alliance fears if people cannot be accommodated at venues for the upcoming AFL grand final and Melbourne Cup due to small patronage limits there will be an increase in illegal private gatherings, leading to hygiene, social distancing risks and no proper contact tracing procedures.
The NSW changes were announced on the same day the state recorded seven new cases of locally acquired coronavirus.