Wagga will benefit from a further easing of COVID-19 restrictions today after NSW passed the 80 per cent full vaccination mark, but some of the industries targeted for more freedoms might still take a while to reopen.
The 80 per cent milestone has removed or lessened a range of restrictions, with office workers no longer having to wear masks, household visitor limits doubling to 20, and the return of community sport. Ticketed outdoor public gatherings will be permitted for up to 3000 people.
Grant Luhrs, a co-organiser of Wagga's Stone the Crows Festival, said smaller events were able to take advantage of the new stage of the reopening roadmap.
"Venues can have up to 75 per cent of their maximum audience numbers attend but everyone has to be double vaccinated, and I think that is a good thing," Mr Luhrs said.
"If 80 per cent of people have been vaccinated in NSW, they should be able to get some good numbers coming along."
Mr Luhrs said larger events were different and might not start back up until December or later.
"Music festivals take a while to organise so if you started thinking about it now, you are not going to have it next week. We are very positive that Stone the Crows is going to be going ahead [at Easter]."
Nightclubs will be able to reopen, but there will be a ban on standing up with drinks as well as dancing.
Que Bar manager Chris Atherton said it would not be viable for the Baylis Street venue to reopen with such restrictions.
"The plan of attack is to give Wagga the party it deserves, and we can't really do that under such heavy conditions," Mr Atherton said.
"We'll have to wait until December or if they bring the easing of restrictions forward; we'll have to see. Right now it's just not viable.
"We're looking forward to reopening when we can."
In other news
Patrons at other types of licensed venues, such as restaurants and pubs, will be allowed to stand while drinking.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet defended the nightclub rules and urged people to "bear with us". "What we have tried to do, as much as possible, is make those rules as consistent as we can to provide as much certainty in an uncertain environment, and I think the roadmap provides that," Mr Perrottet said.
"If we can make changes along the way where there are anomalies, we will."
Wagga mayor Greg Conkey said it was good to see more businesses given the chance to reopen, but there was still a need to remain vigilant.
"COVID-19 is not going away and the only way we will get on top of this is if everybody is double vaccinated," Cr Conkey said.
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