Celebrity chef Matt Moran has slammed ‘inconsistent’ new rules for hospitality venues that only benefit smaller venues.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Wednesday that hospitality venues under 200 square metres will be able to have one patron per two square metres from December 1.
This is an improvement on the previous four-square-metre rule, which larger venues above 200 square metres will still have to follow next month.
Standing up in all licensed hospitality venues, big and small, is still banned.
Moran runs seven swanky venues across the Sydney CBD and eastern suburbs including Opera Bar, Aria and Chiswick.
Celebrity chef Matt Moran holds a piece of dry-aged beef. Moran said the easing of COVID-19 restrictions are ‘inconsistent’ since they will only benefit small venues rather than his seven larger venues across Sydney
The 51-year-old chef said none of his restaurants and bars will benefit from the easing of restrictions because they are all bigger than 200 square metres.
Moran said he initially thought the news was ‘fantastic’ before he realised it only benefits small venues during an interview with on 2GB on Wednesday.
‘When I looked into it, it was completely misleading, there is not one extra person [that] can be in any of my venues from that announcement,’ he said.
‘All my places are over 200 square metres so it didn’t make any difference.
‘I don’t understand you can have a lot more people in smaller venues, shoulder-to-shoulder [and] side-by-side.
‘But bigger venues, where I’ve got the space to actually space it out, can not. It just seems there’s one rule for some and two for the others.
‘I’d prefer to go into a bigger space where there’s much more room rather than a small café that’s side-by-side and everyone’s cramped. I understand why, but a lot of cafés haven’t been social distancing anyway.’
Sydneysiders attend a Melbourne Cup event at the Opera Bar, which is co-owned by Moran. He said the famous bar has room to accommodate much more than the 300-person cap
In addition to the two square metre rule, bigger venues will also remain capped at a maximum of 300 people, which Moran said makes ‘a big difference’.
‘Opera Bar down at the Opera House, we’re capped at 300 people and that square meterage is way more than four square metres (per person). In some cases, there’s six or seven metres in between tables,’ Moran said.
‘We can’t have any more than 300 people but 500 in church and 3,000 in a concert. It’s incredibly inconsistent.’
Moran said the Christmas and New Years period is peak time for hospitality venues but they will bleed profit if restrictions remain in place.
‘The next four weeks in our businesses is when we try to capitalise on a busy time. Come January it goes quiet again, so we’re really missing out,’ he said.
A masked waitress attends customers at the Opera Bar, which is one of seven venues across Sydney that Moran runs. He said none of his venues will benefit from the easing of restrictions because they are all larger than 200 square metres
Ms Berjiklian announced a number of restrictions that will be eased next month on Wednesday.
She said 50 visitors will now be allowed in homes with an outdoor area from December 1.
Companies will also be able to bring workers back to the office, if they weren’t already exempted, from December 14.
But the premier warned the uptick in public transport will mean the state’s residents will have to ‘get better at wearing masks.’
‘My colleagues and I, in conjunction with the health experts, were able to go a bit further than what we anticipated. So it’s fantastic news,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘If you are hosting an event at your home, you can have up to 50 people, so long as you utilise an outdoor space.
‘If you do not have an outdoor space, we do not recommend any more than 30 people inside the home.’
New South Wales will ease a number of coronavirus restrictions just in time for Christmas (pictured, two woman enjoy a drink on June 1 at the Royal Hotel)
Previously only 20 people were allowed in the home.
Outdoor gatherings like BBQs in the park will also be capped at 50.
NSW has gone 18-consecutive days without any locally acquired COVID-19 cases and there have been no mystery infections for one month.
To mark the state’s success, smaller pubs, clubs and restaurants will be able to increase their numbers ahead of the silly season.
Hospitality venues under 200 square metres will now be able to have one patron per two square metres, up from one per four square metres.
But anyone drinking in a licensed venue must still be seated at a table.
Outdoor gatherings like BBQs in the park will be capped at 50 from December 1
Restrictions to ease:
50 people now allowed in homes that can utalise an outdoor area from December 1.
50 people will be permitted at outdoor gatherings like BBQs in the park.
30 people will be able to get together in homes with no outdoor space.
Small pubs and hospitality venues will be allowed to double their complicity with the one patron four per square meter rule increased to two patrons.
The public health direction that employees should work from home if possible will now be eased from December 14.
‘We feel confident to be able to move towards that with smaller venues because of the QR codes (brought in this week),’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘We know that NSW Health is able to contract trace more quickly and efficiently because the electronic record allows us to contact them as quickly as we can.’
Larger venues will also be able to follow the two people per square meter guideline soon, the Premier said, but a date has not been finalised by NSW Health.
Ms Berejiklian said the public health direction that employees should work from home if able to do so will also be eased on December 14.
‘We will be staying silent on that,’ the Premier said.
‘What that means is that private companies and organisations can make decisions about what they do with their employees into the New Year.
‘We want to give people time to think about this.’
But despite the positivity, there was also a warning pedestrians travelling to work on public transport will need to ‘get better at wearing masks’.
‘Removing that health order and allowing companies to consider their option also means we need to consider what this means for our transport network,’ Ms Berejiklian said
‘Obviously if we are going to have more people wearing public transport, we absolutely need to make sure more people are wearing masks.
‘We don’t want to go down the mandatory path, but we are asking people to get better at wearing masks on public transport.’
Ms Berejiklian said the public health direction that employees should work from home if able to do so will also be eased on December 14 (pictured, a view of George Street on June 1)
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk