Crowds of up to 500 people could be allowed in New South Wales clubs from Monday June 1.
Reports said ClubsNSW, large clubs in Sydney and News South Wales with multiple dining areas will be able to accommodate hundreds of patrons at any time, if they meet certain conditions.
The move is a way to ensure the lucrative gaming and gambling industry, which the clubs operate on, could return to normal.
NSW government generates hundreds of millions in revenue from the suburban casinos.
In an internal memo sent to member clubs on Wednesday, ClubsNSW CEO Josh Landis boasted that the NSW Chief Health Officer and other government officials were “heavily influenced by ClubsNSW’s reopening plan”.
NSW Health would not directly respond to this claim but said in a statement it “will continue to engage with industry groups on the safe reopening of businesses in line with health advice”.
Under lockdown restriction changes, large pubs and clubs with multiple restaurants or cafes can accommodate an additional 50 people permitted per dining area.
ClubsNSW says hundreds of people could enter large clubs, as the limits would be isolated to certain areas of clubs, rather than the entire estalishement.
Mr Landis tells members: “Following further engagement by ClubsNSW, the upper limit of 500 patrons in a venue has been removed. Instead, the upper limit will be determined by the number of ‘dining areas’ in the club, in conjunction with the 4 square metre rule.”
“A club’s patron capacity may further increase beyond 50 patrons – in increments of 50, up to a maximum of 500 – in accordance with the number of restaurants and cafes inside the clubs,” ClubsNSW said in a statement.
“For example, a club with two restaurants and one cafe can admit up to 150 people at any one time, on the basis of 1 person per 4 square metres and on the condition that those eateries are open at all relevant times.
“Under these arrangements, clubs can permit patrons in the bar and gaming rooms up to the venue capacity and with 1.5 metres physical distancing in all areas.
“Staff and contractors are not included in the capacity limit.”
The Sydney News Authors