Canberra's hospitality businesses were boosted with a "game-changer" lift in coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday, bringing even more optimism for economic recovery over summer.
The restrictions changes coincided with positive news from the release of the September quarter national accounts which showed the economy had emerged from recession, growing 3.3 per cent.
Under stage four restrictions, businesses can effectively double the amount of people allowed indoors, moving from one person per four square metres to one person every two square metres. The more generous spacing requirement was already in place for outdoor areas.
However, businesses can only apply the two-square-metre limit if they use the Check in CBR app, where patrons can register their details using a QR code.
Capital Brewing Co venue manager Bobby Corbett said the further easing of restrictions would be a "game changer" for the business' Fyshwick taproom.
The venue would be able to double its indoor capacity and would add six to seven tables indoors. Although Mr Corbett said the company was taking a measured approach to ensure that any influxes of patrons, especially as they lined up at the bar, would still fall well within restrictions.
"Any gains are good gains in our eyes," he said.
"The timing is great ahead of Christmas and for Christmas parties."
Much of the country's improved economic position was caused by increased consumer spending, the ACT recorded an 8.7 per cent increase in household spending in the last quarter.
Mr Corbett said he had noticed an marked increase in spending habits of Canberrans visiting Capital Brewing.
"People were a lot more frugal earlier on in the pandemic," he said.
"There's just not that same worry anymore.
"We're quite positive that we're going to have a good summer, as long as everyone behaves themselves."
The business was never going to recoup the losses of the lockdown months and was still financially down on last year, Mr Corbett said.
"But this year was never about making a huge amount of money, this year was about survival."
He said the business was very lucky to survive, when so many hadn't, thanks to support from the Canberra community.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said Wednesday's national accounts figures had reinforced the strong economic position of the territory.
He said the ACT was the only jurisdiction to experience growth in state/territory final demand over the course of 2020, currently sitting at 2.8 per cent.
Final demand is the total value of goods and services sold to buyers within a jurisdiction.
"This comes off the back of a strong health response here in the territory that has effectively managed and contained COVID-19," Mr Barr said.
"You can't undertake an economic recovery without controlling this virus."
Other changes to coronavirus restrictions which came into effect on Wednesday include that patrons can now consume food standing up in both indoor and outdoor areas but must be seated to consume alcohol indoors.
Canberra Stadium, Manuka Oval and other grounds with permanent seating and grandstands along with indoor performance venues and cinemas can have crowds up to 65 per cent of capacity.
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