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Relaxed outdoor dining restrictions and live entertainment will reinvigorate The Rocks with the NSW Government’s alfresco dining pilot kicking off today.

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the NSW Government has successfully slashed red tape to allow 19 pubs, cafes and restaurants in The Rocks to expand onto footpaths and into the street, serving up to an additional 1,000 customers.

“The 12-month pilot has condensed what was previously a three-month process involving multiple agencies, into a single application that takes a week,” Mr Dominello said.

“We’re making it easier for businesses to serve more patrons at venues outdoors in a COVID Safe way.

“Businesses with outdoor dining and drinking can now have one person per two square metres if they are registered as COVID Safe and using digital mediums such as the Service NSW QR code to check customers in.”

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said The Rocks is the first area to trial the initiative, with City of Sydney to follow and the rest of NSW soon after.

“It gives businesses more opportunity to trade and thrive, and Sydneysiders the opportunity to enjoy our city under the summer sun,” Mr Stokes said.

“We’re doing everything we can to breathe life back into businesses struck down by the pandemic, bushfires and drought, so we look forward to seeing this trial rolled out across the city and the State.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said doing everything possible to help businesses make the most of the warmer months was a clear message from last month’s Summer Summit.

“It’s about striking the right balance. Our aim is to see businesses re-open safely and see workers backs in jobs,” Mr Perrottet said.

We have lots of underused space across the CBD, so finding creative ways to take advantage of it will benefit our hospitality businesses and the people who live, work and play here.”

The Rocks will have live music throughout George Street, First Fleet Park, Jack Mundey Place, Unwin’s Courtyard and Nurses Walk on Thursdays – Sundays between 11am – 9pm.

A business which registers as COVID Safe via automatically receive a QR code for the COVID Safe Check-in.

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