A hated Covid restriction has been quietly removed to allow drinkers in NSW nightclubs to sip their drinks while standing indoors.
Patrons were required to sit at a table to prevent them from mingling with other groups indoors and could only stand in outdoor spaces like rooftops.
This is despite the fact that this is the main focus of nightclubs, as opposed to pubs where patrons more often stick to their groups of friends.
From November 8, dancing was allowed again in nightclubs, but the ban on standing while drinking was not to be lifted until December 1.
Customers will now be allowed to drink standing up in nightclubs and strip clubs after the NSW Health Minister quietly changed Covid-19 rules on Wednesday
The changes mean the restrictions are in line with rules for pubs and clubs, where customers were allowed to drink standing up inside and outside.
On Wednesday, Health Minister Brad Hazzard fast-tracked an amendment to the public health order to allow patrons to stand while drinking in nightclubs and strip clubs.
“The object of this order is … to remove the requirement that occupants of nightclubs or strip clubs in the general area not permit persons to consume alcohol in an interior area unless they are seated,” the amendment reads.
NSW nightclubs reopened on October 18, but only for seated drinking and no dancing, when the state hit its 80% vaccination target.
Many nightclubs opted to remain closed until dancing was permitted as they struggled to attract customers.
Covid-19 restrictions were eased for vaccinated NSW residents on Monday just before the state struck Vaccination at 90% on Tuesday.
The new changes are now in line with rules for pubs and clubs, where customers were allowed to drink standing up inside and outside
Caps on house parties and outdoor gatherings have been scrapped, nightclub dance floors have reopened and hospitality businesses could accommodate twice as many indoors.
Density limits for hospitality venues have been increased to one person per 2m², and stadiums, racetracks, theme parks, zoos, cinemas and theaters can operate at 100% seated capacity.
Unvaccinated residents will have to wait until December 15 or when the state reaches 95% vaccination before they are allowed to enter most businesses.
NSW recorded 216 cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday.
Three people have lost their lives after testing positive for the virus. There are 235 people in hospital and 41 in intensive care.
The fastest vaccinating state in Australia is reaching 95%, with 94% of residents aged 16 and over receiving their first dose of the vaccine.
THE LATEST CHANGES TO COVID RESTRICTIONS IN NSW
All of the following only applies to fully vaccinated people
FRIENDS AND FAMILY VISIT
– No limit to the number of visitors to your home
– All visitors allowed access to nursing homes or disabled people in accordance with their own policies
– No limits on public gatherings or outdoor recreation
EXERCISE AND LEISURE
– Indoor pools are reopening for all purposes
CATERING AND HOSPITALITY
– No reservation limit for restaurants and hospitality
– Density limit doubled to 1 person per 2 m² inside and outside
– Nightclubs and strip clubs are open with the possibility of standing up dancing and drinking
– Brothels can reopen and home sex services can resume
– No capacity limit for major leisure and entertainment facilities
– Stadiums, theme parks, cinemas, theatres, galleries, libraries, museums and racetracks subject to density limits of 1 person per 2m² or 100% fixed seating capacity
– Singing and dancing are allowed inside and outside
WEDDINGS AND RELIGIOUS SERVICES
– Weddings without guest limit
– No limit for wedding receptions, with dancing allowed and drinking allowed standing
– No limit for funerals
– Open places of worship with density limit of 1 person per 2m²