New South Wales residents will be allowed to travel regionally, including for holidays, from next month while pubs, restaurants and cafes are set to host up to 20 people according to reports.
The Daily Telegraph reports pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes in NSW wiill be able to double their number of patrons within a month.
It comes as the NSW government is expected to allow regional travel to restart from June 1 with Premier Gladys Berejiklian expected to make the official announcement tomorrow morning.
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has urged state and territory governments to reopen their borders to domestic holiday-makers when safe.
“Even if some states don’t let us travel there, we’ll invite the other states here,” Ms Berejiklian told The Daily Telegraph.
“Christmas has come early … June 1 is the day we’re going to want to see people into regional NSW,” Deputy Premier John Barilaro told the paper.
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Queensland has flagged border closures with southern states could remain until at least September because of the coronavirus pandemic, prompting despair from tourism groups.
WA and SA have also signalled their borders will remain shut until the end of winter.
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein, meanwhile, says it is far too early to set a date.
“If we can continue to follow those rules … I expect that in July we will be able to set a date for when our borders will come down. To set a date now … would not be common sense,” Mr Gutwein said on Tuesday.
Senator Birmingham said states and territories should continue on the road map to reopening.
“Those states who’ve got border controls in place, assuming we’ve continued to see very low rates of transmission of COVID-19, ought to be looking at opening up their borders,” he told Nine on Tuesday.
The senator later said there was no reason why state borders couldn’t reopen well before September if Australia continued to see success in containing the virus.
Tourism, which employs one in 13 Australians, has been one of the hardest-hit sectors as governments act to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Most tourism workers have been forced on to wage subsidies or the temporarily boosted dole.
But Qantas and Jetstar are planning ahead for eased restrictions, revealing hygiene and distancing measures to be rolled out from June 12.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the company was preparing for the resumption of domestic travel within the next few months.
– With AAP