Australian Hotels Association NSW said the easing of restrictions announced by the NSW Government on Wednesday were an early Christmas present for hotels, their loyal patrons and the thousands of people they employ.
AHA NSW CEO John Whelan said moving to one person per 2sqm will immediately create more than 9000 much-needed jobs in pubs across the state - just in time for the Christmas season.
"We're thrilled the State Government's announcement will allow NSW hotels to immediately employ 9000 extra staff and thousands more in the broader hospitality industry." said Mr Whelan.
"And after eight long months it will be great to be able to stand up and enjoy a Christmas drink with friends in your local pub's beer garden.
"NSW hotels are proud to have led the way with QR codes and electronic tracing and have consistently gone above and beyond what is required to keep staff and patrons safe.
"AHA NSW will continue working closely with the Government to safely ease restrictions on venues where possible as community transmission rates remain low - no one wants to risk a second wave of the pandemic in NSW."
Mr Whelan said the announcement was a step forward for both hotels and the wider NSW economy.
"Not only can hotels now employ more chefs, baristas and bar staff, this change will flow on to the hundreds of thousands of people indirectly employed by hotels from the local butcher to maintenance workers," he said.