Award-winning Japanese restaurant Sokyo at The Star Sydney became the first high-end restaurant in Australia to open its doors with an invite-only event starting at 12.01am.
The 10 guests for the ‘opening night’ at Sokyo included Destination NSW CEO Steve Cox, Sydney City Councillor Christine Forster, former rugby league player Craig Wing and former NRL star and media personality, Beau Ryan.
Plenty of people also braved cold conditions to head to Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach for a swim or a walk.
During her regular morning update, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Friday there had been eight new cases of the coronavirus, the highest number of cases in more than a week.
However, this was from 12,200 tests in the 24 hours to 8pm Thursday, taking the state’s total to 3071. Seven people are in intensive care.
Ms Berejiklian said five of the eight new cases had been from known sources, with three of the cases involving people in quarantine in NSW.
“The remaining three were community transmission but from existing hot spots,” she said.
“One from Bondi Waverley and one from Penrith so we are asking people in those communities to come forward and get tested.”
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Ms Berejiklian said the fact that 12,200 people had come forward and got tested was outstanding, and this needed to continue.
“As restrictions are eased today, please come forward and get tested, that’s the only way in which we are going to manage easing restrictions and being able to control the virus,” she said.
Ms Berejiklian stressed people needed to continue exercising social distancing when they were out, washing their hands and not touching surfaces.
“I know some may even have already started enjoying the new freedoms that come with easing restrictions today but that also comes with personal responsibility and I can’t stress that enough,” she said.
“Easing restrictions have failed in so many places around the world and I don’t want that to happen in New South Wales.
“I want people to have personal responsibility for the way we respond, let’s do our part in keeping everybody safe so that we can keep moving forward so that we never go backwards, that is really critical.”
NSW residents are allowed to go to pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes and places of worship from today.
Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted from Friday and up to five people, including children, can visit households.
Religious gatherings and places of worship can welcome up to 10 people while restaurants and cafes can have up to 10 patrons as long as they maintain social distancing.
Ten guests are allowed at weddings, up to 20 at indoor funerals and up to 30 at outdoor funerals.
Outdoor equipment including gyms and playgrounds can be used with caution, with people encouraged to wipe down the equipment, and outdoor pools are open with restrictions.
Randwick City Council will reopen all of its beaches for recreation from Friday, including Clovelly, Coogee and Maroubra, as well as some ocean pools.
“Really, the way we move forward now is up to us,” Ms Berejiklian said. “(Social distancing) will be part of our lives until there is a vaccine or cure, we just have to accept that. But we can appreciate our time staying at home in the main has made us all appreciate what matters most.”