The ACT should reconsider the patron caps put on venues and instead limit numbers based on businesses' floor space, the opposition says.
Opposition Leader Alistair Coe will on Thursday move a motion in the ACT Legislative Assembly calling on the government to ease coronavirus restrictions so they are at least in line with NSW.
But Chief Minister Andrew Barr said his motion contained numerous factual inaccuracies and that the ACT's response was based on health advice.
From Monday, 50 people were allowed in NSW pubs and clubs, while the ACT allows up to 20 people per enclosed space. Pokies and TABs have also been allowed to reopen in NSW.
Some aspects of ACT's stage two restrictions are more lenient than in NSW, including gym restrictions.
Mr Coe said he wanted the government to explain why the ACT was moving slower than NSW and to issue direct advice about what was permissible.
He said there had so far been inconsistent and confusing messaging from the government.
"The ACT has done relatively well when it comes to managing the COVID-19 crisis," he said.
"One of the benefits should be that we can safely reopen at a faster pace than NSW."
Mr Coe said the government could consider ditching patron limits and instead rely on the one person per four square metre rule.
"There are still several industries that have been locked out of stages one and two, including the clubs sectors, and including faith communities," he said.
Mr Coe said the government's refusal to allow gaming rooms and pokies to reopen was "vindictive" and not about health.
But Mr Barr said absolute consistency across all Australian states and territories on how to respond to the pandemic was unrealistic.
He pointed out some of the ACT's responses had been more lenient than in NSW, including the reopening of gyms and expansion of community sport.
"The reality is that there have been temporary differences on how jurisdictions around the country are handling the pandemic," he said.
"For example, the ACT did not follow NSW on enforcing 'Stay at Home' directions. The ACT did not fine people for sitting alone in public parks or buying a kebab after going for a run.
"The ACT police took an education-first approach, and there were no fines issued to people in the ACT. "
Mr Barr said there was a risk the virus would return to the ACT as travel restrictions eased. "The best public health advice for the ACT is that a gradual easing of restrictions is the best way to manage the risks of increasing activity in our community, without compromising all the hard work we have all put in to stop the spread of the virus," he said.
"The pandemic is not over and we have a responsibility to reopen our schools and businesses safely without compromising all the hard work of the Canberra community.
"Its important that we continue to listen to the advice of health experts as we reopen our economy to avoid future waves of the virus and a return to more stringent restrictions."
Industry groups have previously hit out at the government for falling behind NSW in some aspects of the easing of restrictions. Clubs ACT wants the government to allow pokies and gaming rooms to operate, in line with NSW.
Australian Hotels Association ACT have called for the ACT to allow 50 people in pubs and restaurants, saying it didn't make sense to be out of line with NSW.
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