NSW Is Banning Dancing and Singing in Hospitality Venues Again in Response to Rising Cases
The returning 'Footloose'-style rules will apply at all hospitality venues from Saturday, January 8 until at least Thursday, January 27.
When the New South Wales Government made masks mandatory again indoors just before Christmas, it also served up a big dose of déjà vu. When it advised that the one person per two-square-metres rule would come back into effect in indoor hospitality venues from after Christmas, it did the same. Here's another: banning dancing and singing in hospitality venues, which'll kick in on Saturday, January 8 — and run through until at least Thursday, January 27.
At a press conference today, Friday, January 7, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced that the restrictions were returning in an effort to help stop the state's rising case numbers. "Today we are making some sensible and proportionate changes as we move through this next period as the peak of Omicron comes through," the Premier said.
The Footloose-style rules will apply at all hospitality venues — including pubs, bars and nightclubs. NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant provided a further explanation regarding the change, advising that "when people are in those environments and dancing, you're actually encountering and bringing together people from very different social networks... When you're actually dancing on a dance floor, when you're energised and singing in a group and moving around, then you're actually risking exposing people that you would normally day-to-day not come into contact with."
Dr Chant continued: "so this time, we're really just trying to slow the spread, reduce the introduction to new social networks as a mechanism of slowing the spread to remove that peak [in COVID-19 case numbers]".
Those aforementioned mask rules are still in effect, too — and the density limits as well — but no other restrictions are being introduced at present. That said, the NSW Government also advised that while major events can currently continue as planned, there might be changes or postponements on an event-by-event basis if an event or venue is deemed high-risk.
Also recommended by the Premier: rethinking social plans to cut down on time with others. "We'll continue to encourage people to minimise mingling with possible," said Perrottet.
Also, while vertical consumption — yes, that awkward term — is still permitted at present, "if you're in a hospitality venue, if you can sit down while drinking, please do so," said the Premier.
"And with household visitations, please where you can, minimise those household visitations — and as well, when you're having events inside, if you can those events outdoors, we highly recommend it," he continued.
NSW reported 38,625 new COVID-19 cases today, Friday, January 7.
For more information about the status of COVID-19 and the current restrictions, head over to the NSW Health website.
Top image: Ivy, Jordan K Munns.
Published on January 07, 2022 by Sarah Ward