Pubs and clubs reopen in Australian state of New South Wales as coronavirus lockdown measures relaxed

A group of friends enjoy a long-awaited beer and meal at a restaurant near Bondi beach (PA Images)
A group of friends enjoy a long-awaited beer and meal at a restaurant near Bondi beach (PA Images)
11:15am, Fri 15 May 2020
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People in New South Wales have finally managed to get their hands on a beer and a meal out as the state loosened its lockdown restrictions.

Cafes and restaurants were permitted to open for business, although visitors were told they must still adhere to social distancing rules and a maximum number of 10 customers would be allowed at a time.

Customers must order a meal if they want to have a drink (PA Images)

State premier Gladys Berejiklian urged people to act responsibly in order to prevent a resurgence in the virus.

“Don't assume, because you're out and about with people you know, that you can relax on the social distancing. You can't," she said.

"Let’s please do our part in keeping everybody safe so that all of us can keep moving forward so that we never, ever go backwards.

“That’s really, really critical.”

Pubs and clubs are open for diners only, meaning that customers must purchase a meal if they hope to have a drink too.

Ms Berejiklian added that the slackening of restrictions would be a test ahead of the potential relaxation of other measures over the coming weeks.

"It's more important over this weekend than last weekend to maintain social distancing, because there will be more people out and about," she urged.

“For the first time in a long time, people will be out of the house for recreation purposes, and that means we all have to be vigilant.”

Customers are provided with hand sanitiser in all establishments (PA Images)

Places of religious worship have also been allowed to open and a number of Catholic churches are now allowing small gatherings as well as private prayer and confession, while many Jewish synagogues and other places of worship have opted not to open until they deem it safer to do so.

Sydney's Archbishop Anthony Fisher said: “The celebration of mass is the highest form of Catholic worship and to not be able to physically gather these past two months has been very difficult for Catholics."

Schools are also slowly opening across the state and households are permitted to welcome groups of up to five visitors at a time.

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