Deniliquin and district is now officially reopened for business.
Yesterday was the first time in two months many local businesses were able to reopen their doors, with eateries, hotels and accommodation providers particularly welcoming the relaxation of Coronavirus related restrictions.
Also allowed to reopen are beauty services, places of worship (up to 50 people) and museums, galleries and libraries.
Despite the cooler weather, locals and visitors took advantage of the relaxations and set out for local cafes, pubs and restaurants yesterday.
Eateries are now allowed to seat up to 50 patrons, depending on the size of the venue.
The new customer limit, up from 10, is intended to safely bring back hospitality jobs.
Former Deniliquin woman Lynda Mynard was at Bronte’s Gourmet yesterday morning, and said further relaxation of restrictions was an important first step in helping local businesses recover from the shut downs.
Mrs Mynard and her family — from Canberra and Melbourne — are in Deniliquin for a family event and relished the chance to have breakfast cooked for them again.
‘‘I am happy to see everyone back in business,’’ she said.
‘‘It has been so nice to drink from a mug rather than a takeaway cup. The food was fresh, great and we got service with a smile.
‘‘It is important to support local businesses because if you don’t use it, you lose it.’’
The Deniliquin RSL Club implemented the 50 patron rule yesterday, and the Deniliquin Golf Club is set to reopen tomorrow.
The Deniliquin Bowling Club, however, has confirmed it will continue with the takeaway only service for the time being.
Its board is yet to meet to determine how to work within the new rules of operation.
When each venue does open, it must adhere to a one person per four square metre rule and develop a COVID Safety Plan consistent with government guidelines.
All customers must also be seated, and no one booking can exceed 10 people.
Deniliquin Golf Club president Tony Kew said club’s board, volunteers and staff are ‘‘really excited’’ to be able to open on Friday.
‘‘We are in the middle of our renovations and our kitchen is done, so we are looking forward to christening it on Friday,’’ Mr Kew said.
‘‘It will be our first dinner service since the lockdown, so we are excited to re-introduce our full menu and raffles.
‘‘It is, however, subject to normal Coronavirus restrictions and everyone must sign in and leave us a phone number.’’
Camping, recreational travel and holidays are also now allowed in regional NSW.
Caravans were lining up at local parks yesterday and local roads were busy as caravanners started moving around.
A NSW resident can now visit anywhere in regional NSW for recreation and holiday purposes.
Interstate visitors can also travel to NSW for a holiday, but must follow the rules of their home state or territory when returning.
In the next stage of relaxations, likely to come into effect in July, gathering sizes are expected to be increased to 100 people. Interstate travel and limited cross-Tasman and Pacific
Island travel may also be reintroduced in this next stage.
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More than 10,000 people in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District region have been tested for Coronavirus, with no new positive cases in more than six weeks.
There remains only one resident in the MLHD region with lingering symptoms. As restrictions relax further as of this week, MLHD is urging people to practice safe distancing and to keep on top of their hygiene.
The Murrumbidgee COVID-19 hotline — 1800 831 099 — remains open and people are asked to get tested as soon as possible after the onset of even minor symptoms.