NSW approaches 500,000 COVID-19 tests

As restaurants, pubs and cafes re-open across NSW, authorities say its vital anyone with a hint of respiratory illnesses gets tested for COVID-19.

Another three cases of the virus have been recorded in the state, while almost 9000 people were tested over 24 hours.

Across the state, young people in their 20s and 30s make up around 40 per cent of the state’s 3086 confirmed cases.

Of the total, 2653 patients have recovered. Almost half a million tests have been conducted.

“Just one little symptom of anything that looks like a cough, a cold a flu – go and get tested,” Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Saturday morning.

“With these freedoms come big responsibilities.”

Chances are the test will be negative, he said.

But there remains concern people who are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms could spread the virus.

Up to 50 people will be allowed in restaurants, pubs and cafes from June 1 as NSW eases more COVID-19 restrictions.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Friday announced the “big and critical” step, but said strict rules would be in place for venues.

Venues will still have to allow at least four square metres of space per person.

Additionally, bookings of more than 10 will be banned, and patrons won’t be allowed to stand.

Currently, dining venues can only have a maximum of 10 patrons if they maintain social distancing. That includes alcohol table service with meals at NSW pubs and clubs.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro says gyms, yoga studios, and beauticians could also be back in business in the coming month or so.

“(It’s) no different to yoga studios, a whole range of other areas, beauticians, you name it, we’re still working with all of those, but we’re not talking September,” he told 2GB Radio on Friday.

“We’re looking at all these restrictions coming off over the next month or so.”

ClubsNSW on Friday confirmed the state’s clubs will reopen on June 1.

The increase in patronage aligns with the easing of regional travel restrictions across the state and the opening of museums, galleries and libraries from June 1.

In a statement, Australian Hotels Association NSW chief executive John Whelan said 94 per cent of the hotels’ workforce had been stood down or sacked – but from June 1 the industry could start re-employing staff.

The Tourism and Transport Forum said Friday’s announcement sends a message that the state was once again open for business.

NSW on Friday reported its 50th COVID-19 death after an 80-year-old woman died in Concord Hospital. Her death brings the national toll to 101.

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