Cafes, bars, restaurants and clubs in the ACT will be able to serve up to 20 people per enclosed space from Saturday.
Beauty therapy businesses and group fitness classes at gyms have also been given the green light to reopen, with strict patron limits.
The restrictions will apply per enclosed space for a venue, which means some large businesses may be able to host up to 200 people at one time, Chief Minister Andrew Barr says.
Mr Barr on Tuesday laid out the government's full plan to reopen Canberra, after it was endorsed by ACT cabinet.
The plan differs from NSW where up to 50 people will be allowed in cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs from June 1.
The opposition labelled it "a dog's breakfast", while hospitality industry groups say it falls short of what NSW is allowing.
Under the plan, all included businesses cannot exceed one person per four square metres, including staff.
Organised social sport can now include up to 20 participants, and indoor sport can restart under the one person per four square metre rule.
"Local sporting organisations are encouraged to ensure low physical contact, and to limit the sharing of equipment," Mr Barr said.
"Hand washing before and after sessions is strongly advised, and shared facilities other than toilets will not be open."
Indoor gyms can open for small, supervised group sessions, with a maximum of 20 people to an enclosed space.
Unsupervised use of free weights and other gym facilities will not be allowed.
"These businesses must complete a COVID Safe plan, observe strict hand hygiene requirements and ensure physical distancing as much as possible," Mr Barr said.
Beauty therapy businesses, including nail salons, tanning and waxing services, day spas (including massage) and tattoo businesses can reopen from Saturday.
Galleries, museums, national institutions and outdoor attractions (such as the zoo) will be able to reopen for groups of up to 20 people in a designated session, Mr Barr said.
The maximum number of people at a wedding will be increased to 20, and 50 for funerals. Venues and activities cannot exceed one person per four square metres including staff and officials.
Maximum number of people allowed in each space:
- 20 square metres: five
- 40 square metres: 10
- 60 square metres: 15
- +80 square metres: 20
"If a venue has multiple enclosed spaces, they can have multiple groups of 20 patrons," Mr Barr said.
"Some of the larger venues in the ACT with multiple enclosed and outdoor spaces may be able to accommodate 200 or more patrons."
Mr Barr said a support package for the struggling hospitality industry would be unveiled later in the week.
Opposition Leader Alistair Coe said the plan was going to be a "dog's breakfast" for businesses to navigate.
"It is extremely complex and leaves many questions unanswered," he said.
"It begs the question - how is it that Queanbeyan can do one thing and the ACT can do something totally different - both claim to be following national cabinet guidelines."
Mr Coe said it would have been reasonable for the ACT to follow NSW given the territory's success in managing COVID-19.
"As it stands we have two sets of rules - one across the border in NSW and one here in the territory, which the Chief Minister repeatedly said was an undesirable outcome," he said.
Clubs ACT CEO Gwyn Rees said he was disappointed the territory was not following NSW's lead.
There, bar and gaming facilities are permitted to reopen from June 1, while each cafe or restaurant within a club can serve 50 people at a time.
"Following the NSW model would have meant 2000 Canberra club employees would have returned to work," he said.
"What we have heard today means further uncertainty for at least another six weeks."
Australian Hotels Association ACT president Anthony Brierley said it was incongruous that the ACT had not followed NSW.
"But this announcement has been made and we have to work with it," he said.
"This new limit is going to benefit some larger venues, and not make much difference for smaller licensed premises."
He said having limits based on enclosed spaces was a fairer approach than a flat patron limit, as was previously the case with the 10-person limit.
"There is still some work to be done, particularly in defining 'enclosed space', before we can know how meaningful this announcement will be or how many jobs will be restored," Mr Brierley said.
"On an ongoing basis, it is crucial that Canberrans are shown the public health modelling upon which the Chief Health Officer is relying."
The announcement is the first half of "stage 2" in the ACT government's COVID-19 Easing of Restrictions Roadmap, which can be viewed in full here.
Should the new measures not result in a significant uptick in cases across the territory, the second half of stage 2 restriction-easing will take place on June 19.
This will see the number of people allowed per enclosed space increase to 50, allowing cinemas and indoor amusement centres to open, along with the further easing of restrictions for gyms, health centres and community sport.