Three months after COVID spread through hospitality venues in Canberra, soon becoming the ACT's worst virus outbreak, the clubs identified as initial exposure locations will finally be permitted to reopen.
A fast-tracked easing of restrictions will allow drinking while standing at licensed venues from midnight on Thursday. A vaccination rate greater than 95 per cent in the ACT will mean face masks won't be required when out, unless visiting high-risk settings like hospitals.
Fiction Club has responded to the changes with the return of its dancefloor from Friday night.
The Bunda Street venue had opened one level of its site for sit-down drinks last month, after weeks of closure that followed a bouncer working while infected with COVID-19 in August.
Entertainment and marketing director Francisco Tapia said as happy as they had been to welcome customers back in October, so few people in the venue had made it financially difficult.
"Canberrans should be proud of themselves for hitting these targets before the initial due dates," Mr Tapia said.
"Everyone that did get jab has essentially helped businesses return faster."
Assembly Bar on Lonsdale Street pivoted to takeaway food and beverages after being identified as one of the first exposure locations back in August.
The new changes mean the bar will be permitted to double the current capacity from this weekend.
With dancing now allowed under the ACT relaxation of restrictions, the operators of Mooseheads, which has not been listed as an exposure site throughout the pandemic, are working hard to have the city nightclub reopened in the next two weeks.
Mooseheads manager Ryan Dyson said while a date was yet to be set, they had more than 80 staff eager to get back to the task of entertaining revellers.
"It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work to fire up the Moose machine," Mr Dyson said.
"We hope it will be sometime in the next fortnight."
This week's changes will allow indoor and outdoor entertainment venues with fixed seating to fill to capacity, paving the way for an extra 2000 people to attend the Canberra Symphony Orchestra Summer Prom on the Lawns at Government House on December 4.
Tickets to the circus at Majura Park just got a lot easier to come by, while restrictions at cinemas and swimming pools will also be scrapped.
The ACT will move to a one person per two square metre limit at hospitality and retail venues, with many businesses reporting this will be their first chance to operate profitably since Canberra first entered lockdown back in August.
Capital Brewery will be permitted to have 450 people onsite from Friday, allowing for the return of walk-in customers.
Owner Laurence Kain said while he commends the efforts of the ACT government and had been very patient with the easing of restrictions, the slow dance was getting a little tedious.
"It's important to note venues are still at half their operating capacity and that's during what's usually the busiest time of year.
"In Canberra it's extremely seasonal and we're very reliant on this lead into Christmas up until February," Mr Kain said.
"A lot of venues will make 70 to 75 per cent of their money over that short period and then winter can be pretty quiet."
Mr Kain said his experience last year was that customers tended to ignore the one person per square metre rule, putting operators in a difficult position.
"In the most vaccinated city we maybe need to have a bit of a look at whether it's really doing anything? Or is it just adding a bit of compliance costs onto businesses?" he said.
Australian Hotels Association ACT Anthony Brierley said the fight wasn't over until hospitality venues looked like they did in 2019.
"At 50 per cent people can make money throughout the week again, there'll be a couple of hours on a Friday and a Saturday night where it will still be difficult for people to get in, but then you can still make money.
"They won't make as much money, but they're beyond treading water now."
Mr Brierley said while the goal was no density limits once everyone had a chance to be vaccinated, this week's changes was about as good as the industry could have hoped for.
"For most venues this was all they wanted for Christmas and now it's been wrapped up in a nice little bow for them," he said.
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