January 25, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Image: Tourism Australia

With singing and dancing now banned through the rest of the peak festival season, major music events have effectively been sacrificed for a return to school and to resume elective surgery in New South Wales.

The renewed indoor density limit of one per two square metres will also impact business events, with event venues to continue to have their capacity constrained.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet made the announcement at a press conference this morning.

“As we move through, we want to maintain that cautious approach as we continue to get our booster program moving, so the restrictions that we put in place last year we will be rolling over for another month,” he said.

With the restrictions originally in place until January 27, the rollover will take restrictions through to February 28.

“This is a cautious approach, a safe and measured approach as we move through this next phase and also ensures we continue to instil that confidence, particularly in our parents that are sending kids back to school and, as mobility increases, as Dr Chant has said, we will expect cases to rise, so this is a measured approach, a proportionate approach to the situation that we are in here in NSW,” said Perrottet.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said today marked two years since Australia’s first COVID cases.

“I think we’ve been through hell and back along the way, but we have actually, I think, had the benefit of being the lucky country, and particularly lucky in NSW.”

Last week the NSW Government announced details of its Event Saver Fund, which will support major events that have been cancelled or faced major disruption since December 15, 2021, when the Omicron COVID wave started to bite in NSW.

However for business events, which continue to be postponed – including last week’s Australia Day Lunch for over 1,000 people, ICC Sydney’s fifth birthday celebrations and likely many other events which are not publicly announced – there remains little support unless by exception.