TAMWORTH locals will have to wait a bit longer to enjoy a drink in their favourite pubs despite an easing of COVID-19 restrictions by the state government.
From Friday, restaurants and cafes will have the option to open for up to 10 patrons under the relaxed social distancing measures announced earlier this week.
The Tamworth Golf Club will be one of the only venues in the city offering locals the chance for a quiet drink, deciding to act upon the new guidelines.
Club chief executive officer Andrew Graham said anyone looking to visit for a drink would have to also order food.
"It's all part of the new guidelines, but we are really excited to be able to offer people the chance to come in for a bite to eat and a few drinks," Mr Graham said.
"We are only able to host ten people at a time, so bookings are essential."
The government announced pubs and clubs were included in the new guidelines, despite initially being left off due to health recommendations.
However, the new restrictions will make little difference to the majority of Tamworth's pub scene as many venues have opted not to open their doors.
The Pub Group's Craig Power said it was not viable to open its four venues: The Longyard Hotel, The Pub, The Southgate Inn and The Family Hotel.
"We're still working towards a full opening and for us to just open a restaurant for 10 people isn't viable," Mr Power told the Leader.
"Given how quickly things are changing, we are working towards a full opening because who knows, things could change again very soon.
"At this point we won't be opening up, but we will still be operating our drive-through and take-away meal services as usual."
A spokesperson for Peel Street's Tudor Hotel echoed Mr Power's sentiments, and said the maximum 10 patrons made it impractical to open.
"We won't be opening on Friday," the spokesperson said.
"To only have 10 people in the venue isn't viable.
"At this stage we will definitely consider [opening during] Stage 2."
The Tamworth Hotel's Luke Prout said his pub was in a similar boat but for a different reason.
"The Tamworth won't be reopening for a few weeks as we are refurbishing the kitchen," Mr Prout said.
"It's [the easing of restrictions] a great start and much earlier than expected, which is a good sign.
"We are fully aware of our responsibilities with social distancing, and as long as everyone acts accordingly, I look forward to greater easement in coming weeks."
Joining the list of venues opting to remain closed is one of Tamworth's newest bars, The Press 2340.
"As far as we are aware, bars are not included, only pubs and restaurants," Press 2340 director Luke Fielding said.
"We look forward to re-opening, but it also needs to be feasible for the doors to open.
"We look forward to re-opening, but it also needs to be feasible for the doors to open."