Berejiklian hints at one off exemptions for some NSW events

The NSW Government has suggested it may further ease restrictions before Christmas and could grant one off exemptions for some events.

“We are always looking at opportunities to make life easier for our citizens but having said that we also need to be mindful with additional gatherings during the summer period, it is a riskier environment,” said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

“We are also looking to provide one-off exemptions for organisations who might be doing their annual event, or some sort of commemorative or religious Christmas event.

“We are very closely looking into what we can do over summer in relation to hospitality and the arts community.”

Last week, the government announced up to 5000 people will be allowed at country shows next year, with the Bowral Show to kick things off from January 9.

“This is really exciting news for regional communities because country shows play a vital role in promoting agriculture and injecting money into local economies,” said Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

But Australian Festivals Association spokeswoman Julia Robinson said the easing of restrictions needed to cover all types of events.

“The industry has a framework to deliver COVIDSafe events using the Live Entertainment Industry Forum Guidelines, the same guidelines created with other leading promoters and arenas that has seen the recent return of crowds to sporting events,” Robinson said.

“The easing of restrictions in regional areas is an important step for an industry that was switched off in March, however there is a long way to go for a sector worth $2.7 billion that employs nearly 10,000 fulltime-equivalent workers nationally.”