Pubs, Cafes And Restaurants Will Open In The Northern Territory In Two Weeks
The Northern Territory looks like it will be the first area in Australia to have life go back to somewhat normal.
After showing promising signs it had reduced the threat of the coronavirus, authorities have set a date for pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants to open their doors.
From May 15, establishments will be able to serve customers again however they'll have to come up with a safety and hygiene plan.
Patrons will only be allowed to stay for two hours, so you can ditch your plans of spending sunup to sundown at your local in the NT. You'll also have to consume food with your alcohol.
But it's not just the food and alcohol industry that has been given a lifeline.
On the same date, places of religious worship, libraries, beauty therapies like nail salons will be allowed to accept visitors and customers again - provided their safety and hygiene plan has been approved.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Mike Gunner said while it's exciting to ease restrictions, it will be more important than ever for people to adhere to social distancing.
He said: "For businesses and organisations that open or expand operations under these rules, they will need to have a COVID-19 management plan in place.
"This will be a simple checklist to show how your venue can adhere to physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning principles.
"I've said it before, and I'll say it again, easing restrictions will actually increase responsibility on all Territorians to keep doing the right thing.
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"That will be our new normal and we can't afford to go backwards or do it all again."
It's the first large-scale winding back of coronavirus-related social distancing measures that have been in place since last month.
No doubt authorities will be casting a very keen eye across the territory this weekend when restrictions on visiting national parks and reserves, outdoor weddings and funerals and access to public pools are relaxed.
Mr Gunner warned that this step has been taken because of everyone's good behaviour across the territory.
"Territorians will have the opportunity to safely spend this weekend camping, swimming or walking through our beautiful parks and reserves and enjoying the Territory lifestyle that we all love," he said.
"We can only do this because of the work and sacrifices of Territorians and we can only keep our parks open if Territorians are respectful of each other's space.
"We cannot take for granted that we are the safest place in Australia, and we have to work to keep it that way.
"This is the first significant step we are taking to adjust our coronavirus- related restrictions."
The Northern Territory has recorded just 28 cases of coronavirus and no deaths. Nine people have already recovered and 18 remain sick.
Featured Image Credit: PA