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Chamber welcomes easing of COVID restrictions

The further easing of COVID restrictions by the State Government today will come as welcome relief to tourism and hospitality businesses in the lead-up to the busy Christmas season, the Hunter Business Chamber said.

From 1 December, hotels and restaurants will be allowed one person per two square metres and 50 people will be able to visit a home.

There will be no cap on the number of people allowed in small hospitality venues (up to 200 square metres), so long as they keep to the one person per two square metre rule, and up to 50 people will be allowed to gather in an outdoor space.

“The Government has also repealed the Public Health Order requiring employers to allow employees to work from home where it is reasonably practicable to do so,” Hunter Business Chamber CEO Bob Hawes said.

“While this was an important initiative at the time to ensure public safety, the indefinite continuation of the stipulation has been a cause of frustration for some businesses and employers at a time when they are trying to rebuild.

“This will allow businesses to properly plan and execute an integrated return to the office program for their employees, while ensuring a safe and compliant working environment.

“Changes to the number of people allowed in restaurants, cafes and hotels is also a great boost for the economy and will bring increased trading opportunities, extended hours and more jobs.”

Mr Hawes said it was important that businesses continued to observe their obligations under the new regulations to ensure the safety of their employees and customers.

The relaxation of restrictions is great news but no one can afford to become complacent,” Mr Hawes said.

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