FROM July 1, Tamworth locals will once again be able to use barbecue facilities in local parks and take full advantage of the city's sporting facilities thanks to an easing of social-distancing restrictions.
The roll back of restrictions also marks the reopening of the Tamworth Sportsdome, as sporting codes across the region begin to prepare for shortened winter seasons.
Wednesday's easing of restrictions comes more than eight weeks after the city recorded its last positive case of COVID-19.
Tamworth Regional Council's sports and recreation manager Paul Kelly said the new guidelines were "a positive step" for the region's sporting community.
"We have been working extensively over the last few months with all sports here in town and they are slowly but steadily getting their competitions in order," Mr Kelly said.
"Just like any facility, all sports are required to have a COVID-safe plan, so people will see lots of changes in the way we do things.
"There will be minimised use of amenities to try and minimise the amount of contact, and at the Sportsdome there will be 20 minute gaps between games to limit the amount of time for contact.
"There'll be lots of little changes, but we are comfortable with where they're at."
Also included in the easing of restrictions will be the scrapping of the 50-person cap for indoor venues, replaced with a one person per four square metre rule, so long as people are seated.
The one person per four square metre rule will also apply to outdoor and indoor funerals, but household visitors and outdoor gatherings remain limited to 20 people.
"We like people to be out and using the wonderful facilities we have, but we need them to do that responsibly," Mr Kelly said.
"We thought given the limit was at 20, it would be the perfect time to open these facilities back up and those limits should allow at least one or two families to use the facilities at a time."
Tamworth mayor Col Murray said the region had been doing the right thing in regard to social-distancing measures.
"It has been about eight weeks since our last coroanvirus case and while that is great news, we can't ignore the fact the virus has not gone away," Cr Murray said.
"We need to observe those simple measures to ensure we don't go down the road of what is happening in Melbourne with some areas going back into lockdown."
STATE-BY-STATE CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS TO BE EASED:
From July 1:
* Children's and adult community sport to resume
* A 50-person cap on indoor venues will be scrapped for a one-person per four square metres rule, including at function centres, so long as people are seated.
* Restrictions on indoor and outdoor funerals relaxed to allow one-person per four square metres.
* However, limits on household visitors and outside gatherings will remain capped at 20 people.
* Passenger limits will almost double on public transport:
- Up to 68 people per train carriage
- Up to 23 passengers on an average, two-door bus and
- Ferries will be allowed to seat up to 250 passengers
- Customers must leave an empty seat or space between them. A green dot will continue to be used to identify the safest place to sit or stand. No dot, no spot.
* Large outdoor venues, such as sporting stadiums, with a maximum capacity of 40,000 people will be permitted to host up to 25 per cent of patrons for cultural and sporting events, which must be ticketed and seated only.
* From July 10, will allow up to 100 people at:
- Outdoor and indoor gatherings including home visitors and venues such as pubs and cinemas
- Places of worship and ceremonies including weddings and funerals
- Museums, art galleries, libraries
- Pools and community sports, gyms, health clubs and yoga studios
- Outdoor amusement parks, zoos, concert venues, arenas, auditoriums and stadiums
- Opens homes and auctions
- Casino and gambling venues, nightclubs
- Beauty and tattoo parlours, nail and tanning salons and non-therapeutic massage parlours.
- Hiking, camping and other activities in national and state parks.
* Enters stage three of lifting coronavirus restrictions including
-Return to full-contact competition for all sports
- Food courts reopen
- Saunas, bathhouses and steam-based beauty services
- Strip clubs, brothels and escort agencies
* To be decided:
- Larger crowds for professional sport and entertainment venues
- Re-opening casinos, gambling and gaming venues
- Face-to-face learning at universities and other vocational training providers
- Return to work
* Some restrictions to to be lifted from July 12 including:
- Indoor and outdoor venue limits including restaurants, cafes and pubs allowed up to 50
- Limits will also be relaxed to 50 people at auction houses, community halls, libraries, museums and places of worship.
* Border and quarantine restrictions to be lifted July 17
* All gathering and capacity restriction rules to be lifted July 18 with the state's borders - including travel to remote Aboriginal communities - to be re-opened at a later date.
* To open its borders to NSW, Victoria and the ACT from July 20
* Border restrictions to be lifted July 24