NSW prepares for easing of travel rules

A marketing campaign spruiking NSW as a tourist destination will target NSW, Victorian and ACT residents as coronavirus-related travel restrictions ease.

NSW residents are enduring one more day of tight coronavirus restrictions before pubs, beauty salons and museums reopen and holiday travel inside state boundaries is permitted from Monday.

The state government on Sunday said a major tourism marketing push would coincide with the restriction changes.


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Travellers from interstate will also be able to visit NSW under the changes, but must comply with the rules of their home state when returning.

The next phase of the “now’s the time to love NSW” campaign – first announced earlier this year after bushfires devastated the state – will include a new television commercial and social media video series, and international digital advertising to keep the state in overseas visitors’ minds.

“Interest in NSW road trips has jumped with a 125 per cent increase in page views on VisitNSW.com in the past week,” Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said in a statement on Sunday.

“The demand is there, now’s the time to show our love for regional NSW.”

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said while regional communities were looking forward to reigniting their tourism industries, it was essential that visitors followed COVID safe advice and social distancing rules.

He reminded travellers to do their homework on motels, retailers, restaurants and experience providers before hitting the road.

Zero COVID-19 cases were reported in NSW on Saturday, from 9500 tests.

That result – not reached for almost three weeks – hasn’t led to authorities veering from the standard song sheet.

“The virus is likely circulating among people in the community with mild symptoms,” NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty said on Saturday.

“The risk of outbreaks and a resurgence of cases remains real.”

NSW still has three-quarters of the country’s 476 active cases, and the majority of the 22 hospital cases nationally.

But the one intensive care patient has been taken off ventilation.

From Monday, museums, galleries, libraries and beauty salons will reopen while up to 20 people will be allowed to attend weddings and up to 50 people will be allowed at a place of worship or a funeral.

The maximum number of pubs and restaurant patrons will increase from 10 to 50, allowing Newtown’s Courthouse Hotel and others to reopen.

“That’s worth cracking a can or two over,” The Courthouse Hotel said.

© AAP 2020