Customers sit at a restaurant on the first day of eased New South Wales coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, allowing up to 10 patrons to sit at a time inside establishments previously only open for take-away, in Sydney, Australia, May 15, 2020. (Photo: Agencies)
SYDNEY - Sydney began to ease some COVID-19 restrictions from Friday, allowing people to go to some beaches, pubs and eateries for recreational activities, while authorities warned the infection rate could rise if people become complacent.
Australia's state of New South Wales (NSW), of which Sydney is the capital, announced easing on its public gathering rules from Friday allowing a maximum of 10 people to congregate together.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned that complacency could see COVID-19 infections rise again as eight new cases were reported overnight, bringing the state's total cases to 3,071.
"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," Berejiklian said.
"Don't assume because you're out and about with people you know, that you can relax on the social distancing -- because you can't."
Some of the most popular beaches managed by Sydney's Randwick City Council, including Clovelly, Coogee and Maroubra will reopen on Friday for recreation activities while authorities stressed that no more than 10 people in a group were allowed at any time on the beach.
"The relaxation of some restrictions means we're taking small, cautious steps towards life as we used to know it but is not an indication that we should become complacent," said Randwick Mayor Danny Said.
According to the new rules, Sydney pubs, restaurants, bars and cafes can have up to 10 patrons eating inside their shops from Friday and the social distancing rules still need to be followed.