Alfresco dining on the menu for NSW summer

More NSW restaurants, cafes and bars will be going alfresco this summer under a government plan.
More NSW restaurants, cafes and bars will be going alfresco this summer under a government plan.

Summer in NSW will include more alfresco wining and dining with red tape being cut to allow for COVID-19 safe hospitality, and venues being encouraged to expand outdoors.

The NSW government is keen to help cafes, restaurants and bars use outdoor spaces to help generate business and create jobs.

A new task force, dubbed the "alfresco architects", will bring NSW government agencies together to fast-track approvals to make the most of outdoor hospitality spaces.

It will also work closely with local governments.

"The pandemic has made indoor spaces less amenable to socialising so it's time we reduce barriers to spending more social time outside," Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said on Thursday.

"This group of alfresco architects will look into streamlining existing legislation."

The government hopes to have a pilot program in place before summer and is considering longer-term solutions to standardise the outdoor drinking and dining scene.

"A default safe alfresco culture should be the norm," Mr Dominello said.

The task force will include representatives from NSW Health, Liquor & Gaming NSW, the Office of Local Government, the Office of the Small Business Commissioner, NSW Police, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Transport for NSW and the NSW Food Authority.

Australian Associated Press