Libraries and galleries to reopen, as NSW travel ban lifts from June 1

Libraries and galleries to reopen, as NSW travel ban lifts from June 1

Libraries, art galleries and museums will be able to reopen next month, as NSW opens up for regional travel from June 1.

On Wednesday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed recreational regional travel within the state will be allowed within a fortnight.

"You can go on a holiday with your family and friends, but know the holiday you're taking from 1 June will be different to a holiday you have taken before," she said.

"We want people to enjoy themselves and feel free but please know that nothing we do is the same in a pandemic."

The change will allow for travel for the Queen's Birthday long weekend.

Ms Berejiklian also said many of cultural institutions - like museums, art galleries and libraries - will be able to open their doors, with restrictions, from that date.

For instance, she said vulnerable people may be able to use them first, people will need to make bookings, and operators will be required to take records of people who attend.

"It's good news, but please treat the good news with caution," Ms Berejiklian said.

Last week, the Premier said the state was not ready for travel and other restrictions to ease, but she said low numbers of virus transmission had sped up the decision.

"What is really noticeable in NSW is the low number of cases," she said.

"The community transmission is less than we anticipated at this time."

She warned that the state was preparing for case numbers to rise as restrictions eased, but also said the data was showing case numbers rising at a lower rate than had been expected as restrictions eased

"We've seen an increase in activity, and that hasn't been correlated with community transmission,"she said.

"The vast number of new cases are still people in quarantine and their direct contacts."

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the regional travel announcement was "great news and what a surprise".

"I said back in March that you weren't welcome [in regional NSW] and we'll see you around Christmas. Well, Christmas has come early," he said.

He said the dates would open up travel and boost small businesses in many regions during the June long weekend, but that the ski season was unlikely to open for the holiday. However, resorts were working to make sure they were safe for most of winter, he said.

"We've done it tough because of drought, we've done it tough because of bushfires, and for many of those small businesses in those regions this is almost the last chance for that holiday, that the ability to fill the cash register in preparation for the winter, quiet months ahead," he said.

He warned that people should not travel if they are not feeling well.

Meantime, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said there had been four new cases of COVID-19 detected overnight, all four from overseas travellers in quarantine.

More than 7000 people were tested in the 24-hour period, and there was one new death, where a 93-year-old resident of Newmarch House died.

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This story Libraries and galleries to reopen, as NSW travel ban lifts from June 1 first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.