Hospitality industry groups say the ACT government must allow venues to serve up to 50 patrons in each space by next weekend, with anything less "inexcusable".
It comes after NSW on Friday announced it would allow pubs, cafés and restaurants to serve up to 50 seated patrons at a time from June 1.
Australian Hotels Association ACT president Anthony Brierley said it was embarrassing the ACT government had been caught dragging its feet on the issue.
But Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he would not speculate on whether the ACT would match NSW's move when the next stage of restrictions are lifted in the territory on May 30.
He said the ACT cabinet would meet on Tuesday to consider the details of the next stage.
"Our intention is to make a comprehensive announcement next week," Mr Barr said at a parliamentary hearing on Friday.
Mr Brierley said the AHA had been urging the government over the past two weeks to reconsider its patron limits.
He said the government needed to allow venues to serve up to 50 patrons in each space by next weekend.
"Anything else would be inexcusable," he said.
"It's embarrassing that the safest jurisdiction in Australia has been caught on the hop.
"The home of the Ruby Princess has decided it is safe to have 50 patrons in pubs and restaurants, but bewilderingly, at the present point in time the ACT only allows 10 patrons.
"Right now, we can't afford to be behind NSW.
"The health advice and modelling needs to be transparent. It is no longer acceptable to suspend democracy and keep our businesses boarded up and locked.
ACT Opposition Leader Alistair Coe said he hoped NSW's announcement would encourage the ACT government to take a more tailored approached with Canberra's hospitality sector.
Under stage one restrictions, ACT venues can serve meals to up to 10 seated patrons. The restrictions apply to the whole venue, regardless of its size or the number of enclosed spaces within it.
"As the Chief Minister frequently states, Canberra is an island within NSW," Mr Coe said.
"Now that the NSW government is allowing their pubs, clubs and restaurants to operate in a COVID-safe environment, Canberra's hospitality sector should also have the opportunity to operate at greater capacity where safe to do so.
"If Canberrans can safely enjoy a meal at the pub in Queanbeyan, they should be able to safely enjoy a meal in the ACT."
Old Canberra Inn general manager Richard Cockram said the pub had different contingency plans in place depending on whether the restrictions were lifted to 20 or 50 patrons.
"If the number is increased to 50, we will look at getting live music back in," he said.
"Everyone will just adapt as we go."
The Lyneham venue has begun to take bookings of eight to 10 people for sessions of one hour and 45 minutes with no deposit or minimum spend.
Mr Cockram said any further changes would need to allow for the takeaway and delivery service to continue.Many of the front of house staff had been retained through JobKeeper, but the chefs were mainly migrant visa holders.
"Good support from the community has allowed us to keep our chefs on," Mr Cockram said.
He said it would be good for more people to be able to enjoy the atmosphere of the venue, rather than having takeaway in their homes.
"There's something quite unique about sitting in a nice pub, having a feed and a nice cold beer," Mr Cockram said.