Thousands of Australians poured into pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants across the country as they threw open their doors for the first time in more than two months as coronavirus restrictions eased state-by-state.
The fact it was a Monday on the first night of winter didn’t stop patrons packing venues around Sydney as venues were brought back to life with up to 50 people allowed inside across New South Wales from June 1.
Frankies Pizza in the CBD and Coogee Bay Hotel both had long lines of excited customers waiting to get inside.
The nearby Golden Sheaf in Double Bay had just a few punters on Monday night, while Beach Road Hotel in Bondi saw a steady flow of patrons.
Party hostpot Ravesi’s and Una’s Restaurant in Darlinghurst were steady without being busy, however upmarket restaurant Mr Wong’s and The establishment in the CBD still had room for more customers.
Beach Road Hotel in Bondi, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, was at capacity on Monday night, with punters seen having drinks in the beer garden
Frankies Pizza in Sydney’s CBD had a long line of customers eagerly awaiting to get inside on Monday night
Beach Road Hotel in Bondi saw a steady flow of patrons on Monday night, with up to 50 allowed inside at any one time
Kings Cross was looking unusually subdued on Monday night, with a few patrons seen enjoying a quiet beer at Vegas Hotel
A dozen people were seen lining up to get into Frankie’s Pizza in the Sydney CBD on Monday night
Dozens of patrons were seen dining at popular Mexican restaurant Fonda in Bondi on Monday evening
Popular Irish-expat hangout The Tea Gardens in Bondi Junction saw a constant flow of customers making the most of eased restrictions.
The Royal Oak in the affluent suburb of Double Bay was at capacity despite no queues of customers outside.
Dozens of patrons were seen dining at well-known Mexican restaurant Fonda in Bondi.
The Woolpack Hotel in Redfern was one such venue where staff were excited to welcome back locals keen for a craft beer.
Hotel licensee Ryan Gardam said his staff had put in long hours to prepare the venue for Monday.
‘It’s been hectic here and pretty much a scramble since day one of closing but we were happy to be able to invite more of our community back,’ Mr Gardam said on Monday.
Despite many ups and downs, Mr Gardam said he was determined to keep his doors open through the whole pandemic in some form as a hope for his staff and the local community.
Popular Irish expat hangout The Tea Gardens in Bondi Junction saw a steady flow of customers making the most of eased restrictions
Bondi party hostpot Ravesi’s didn’t have its usual crowd numbers, with only 50 patrons allowed inside at one time
A group of women enjoy a night out at the Royal Oak Hotel in Sydney’s Double Bay after pubs customer limits were extended to 50
The Royal Oak in affluent Double Bay was at capacity, but customers weren’t seen queuing up outside
The Woolpack Hotel in Redfern was one such venue where staff were excited to welcome back locals keen for a craft beer
‘We’re just taking it one day at a time, really half a day at a time actually. I’m not assuming anything at the moment.’
Hotel local Leigh Neville was delighted to see the Woolpack lively once more as he sipped his favourite hazy IPA.
The self-confessed beer snob said he had missed the daily ventures to the pub with his Brussels Griffon dogs Lexie and Henry.
‘We’d walk to the nearby park every day and then we’d come in for a couple of beers, the dogs missed the staff,’ he told AAP.
‘I hope everyone’s sensible and they can stay open.’
On Monday morning, hundreds of punters flooded gaming floors from 10am, excited for their first slap in New South Wales in about two months.
A steady stream of regulars returned to Rooty Hill RSL just as coronavirus restrictions were lifted across the country and pubs opened to more than 10 patrons for the first time since March 23.
Inside the lights still flashed, the symbols still spun and the music still jingled, but at intervals throughout the floor were bottles of hand sanitiser, while social distancing was also enforced with every second machine turned off.
Monday was also a big day elsewhere in Australia – as gyms reopened in Queensland, Victoria upped capacity of pubs to 20 people and the ACT, which has no COVID-19 cases, allowed travel to Sydney.
But in western Sydney it was all about the pokies, with one tradie admitting he was so keen to try his luck he had snuck out to the Rooty Hill RSL on his lunch break and enjoyed an ‘up-and-down’ hour.
‘I didn’t have much luck but it was good fun, I’ve just got to get back to the job site before the boss finds out now,’ the man, who did not want to be named, told Daily Mail Australia.
Pubgoers are seen at the Vegas Hotel in Sydney’s King Cross on Monday evening as coronavirus restrictions were eased
A group of tradesman having a beer after their meal at the Young and Jacksons Pub on Monday evening in Melbourne
A bar tender serves beer to Patrons as they await their meals at the Young & Jackson pub on Monday in Melbourne’s CBD
Patrons enjoy their first drink at the Royal Hotel for the first day trading after over 10 weeks of lockdown closure in Richmond, north of Sydney
A husband and wife pensioner couple admitted their excitement at getting out and about together had quickly dissipated, after burning through $500 in two hours.
‘Before coronavirus we’d come here most days, but the machines were very hungry today,’ the 65-year-old man said.
‘We lost $500 in two hours, from 11am to now.
‘We’re retired and that’s too much for me. It’s not worth us coming here so I won’t be back for a while, I’d rather go fishing.’
From Monday in Victoria, cafes, restaurants and other hospitality businesses like RSLs and bowling clubs welcomed up to 20 patrons at a time into their establishments.
Patrons at eateries still need to maintain 1.5m between tables, and contact details will be collected to assist in rapid tracing if anyone falls ill with COVID-19.
Meanwhile, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall toasted the reopening of the state’s pubs, downing his first beer in three months and flagging the lifting of more coronavirus restrictions.
Licensed venues across the state opened on Monday, with a limit of 80 patrons at a time, divided across at least four areas.
Two young women enjoy a drink together inside the Royal Hotel for the first day trading after over 10 weeks of lockdown closure in the suburb of Richmond, north of Sydney
The Royal Oak in the affluent suburb of Double Bay was at capacity on Monday night
Punters flooded gaming floors from 10am on Monday, excited for their first slap in New South Wales in about two months. Pictured: A man using a gaming machine at The Woolpack Hotel, Redfern, Sydney
Gaming rooms at pubs and clubs across New South Wales are able to reopen from Monday, but social distancing restrictions are still necessary. At the Rooty Hill RLS in Sydney’s west, every second poker machine was turned off on Monday
Customers can also have a drink without ordering food, but must be seated.
Mr Marshall said authorities were looking to further lift COVID-19 measures with a particular focus on larger premises.
‘We are looking at the issue of larger venues at the moment, not just in terms of hospitality but also in terms of community sports and venues like the art gallery, the zoo and churches in South Australia,’ the premier said.
Also from Monday, Queensland pubs, clubs and restaurants will be able to seat 20 patrons while from June 5 that number could increase to 20 per area within a premises if a COVID safe industry plan is in place.
Patrons will need to be seated, table service provided and staff will be limited to only one area, says Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young.
Each area has to meet the one person per four square metre criteria and patrons are not to move around a venue, she says.
‘Now you can have multiple groups of 20, if you can make sure those groups don’t interact with one another…and as long as staff don’t move from group to group,’ Ms Young told reporters.
A group of tradesman having a beer after their meal at the Young and Jacksons Pub on Monday in Melbourne
The first night of winter didn’t stop patrons packing venues around Sydney as pubs and clubs were brought back to life with up to 50 people allowed inside from today. Pictured: Frankie’s Pizza in the CBD
The Strathmore Hotel in Adelaide was quiet on Monday afternoon, despite 80 diners being allowed at restaurants, cafes, wineries, pubs, breweries and bars