Canberra cafes and restaurants will be allowed to reopen with limited patrons from Saturday, but hospitality industry groups say it doesn't mean the sector is open for business.
They want a rethink of social distancing restrictions to make opening more viable for venues.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr on Tuesday announced reopened businesses will have to cap dine-in patrons at 10 people and comply with social distancing requirements.
Further easing of restrictions is not likely until at least the end of the month.
National parks, playgrounds and nature reserves will also open, except those shut for remediation after January's bushfires.
Australian Hotels Association ACT general manager Anthony Brierley said it was a "timid first step" in the right direction.
But the group wants a rethink of the restrictions that limit the number of patrons a venue can accommodate.
"We understand that's in place for health reasons," he said.
"However the hospitality industry is prepared to look at alternative restrictions we could put in place ... to enable us to take out the one person per four square metres rule."
Mr Brierley said the association had suggested a number of new restrictions to replace the square metre rule.
They included introducing venue specific hygiene officers who could enforce some level of social distancing, and mandating new management and staff training.
Mr Brierley said most venues would not be able to reopen under the changes, and it would not result in many more jobs.
"I welcome the announcement but i just don't think we can get ahead of ourselves that the industry is reopening," he said.
Clubs ACT CEO Gwyn Rees said clubs could safely open "very soon", but the 10 person rule was disappointing and made it unviable.
He said clubs had been waiting weeks to hear back from government about a proposal to reopen.
"We think clubs can do social distancing better than the majority of businesses because of their size," Mr Rees said.
"Restrictions haven't really been lifted to a workable level for the majority of the hospitality industry."
Josiah Li, owner of Lanterne Rooms, Chairman and Yip and Lilotang, said while it would not be financially beneficial, he was considering reopening one of his restaurants.
"I support the government's decision, I want everyone to stay safe," he said.
"But the industry will suffer for a long time after all of this."
After closing for three weeks when the lock-down was announced, he has since been running a new takeaway menu from the Lanterne Rooms. Staff had been overjoyed to get back to work, he said.
"It's like a family, everyone was so relieved," he said.
"We have to provide work for ourselves for financial reasons and also for psychological reasons."
Mr Barr acknowledged it would only be economically feasible for a small number of businesses to operate under the new guidelines.
"This is a first tentative and very small step for the industry," he said.
"The advice from public safety experts is that the safest and easiest way to reach a more sustainable level of restrictions in our community is to ease them gradually."
Mr Barr said a cautious approach was needed to prevent a further spread of the virus.
"The worst thing that could happen is that we unlock too fast and we have to go back into a lockdown," he said. That would be devastating for business.
Opposition Leader Alistair Coe said a "one size fits all" approach of limiting all venues to 10 people was not practicable.
"For larger venues, 10 really is a drop in the ocean," he said.
"I think we've got to be flexible here, we've got to trust Canberrans to be responsible."
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