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The new reality of after-work drinks as pubs roll out new COVID-19 rules

Heading to the pub for a drink after-work has become more far more complicated as venues enforce post-lockdown rules. 

At the Occidental Hotel in Sydney's CBD punters of all ages are now stopped at the door and must give their name and phone number to a bouncer before they can step inside. 

On the bar, between the beer taps and pint glasses, are large bottles of hand sanitiser.

Standing at the bar with a drink in your hand is now banned. Customers must be seated at a distance from one another.

These are all part of the new rules venues must all comply with to operate amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

A tradie tells a bouncer his name and phone number at The Occidental Hotel in Sydney's CBD on Wednesday

Patrons are no longer allowed to stand up and drink, they must be seated (pictured: Women wait at a bar in Sydney to order a drink)

At Hotel CBD, in central Sydney, there's a sign on one of the doors: 'Please use other entrance and sign in with our friendly host'.

In NSW - the worst hit state - pubs are now allowed to open their doors for up to 50 guests instead of 10, meaning it is now financially viable for more establishments to open.  

Most punters have been understanding of the rules, Delfina Moscoso, general manager of The Occidental Hotel in Sydney, told Daily Mail Australia. 

'It might be more time-consuming but most customers get it and are just happy to be out having a drink,' she said.  

'I think we are all working together for the same purpose - we want everyone to be healthy.'

Due to space, they can't have more than 17 customers in the small bar area or they would be breaking social distancing rules.

A woman with an Ipad stands outside Wynyard Hotel in central Sydney, punters must now given their contact details before entering

All bars have bottles of hand-sanitiser on offer (Pictured: A bottle of hand sanitiser at 

In Sydney, it's not just those who look under 25 who will be stopped at the door. All customers will now have to provide a name and number for contact tracing

Ms Moscoso said they'd removed all the seats except for 17 stools to ensure there was no overcrowding.  

'You can only have people seated so if someone isn't sitting they have to leave.' 

For Barbara Roberts, Thursday was the first time she had been out to the pub since they were forced into lockdown on March 23 to slow the spread of the deadly illness. 

She said she was surprised by how simple the process was and liked that everyone seemed to be complying with the rules. 

'I'm just happy to be out at the bar and socialising.'

The conditions of entry are clearly stated outside the Wynyard Hotel in central Sydney

 Beach Road Hotel in Bondi saw a steady flow of patrons on Monday night, with up to 50 allowed inside at any one time 

Outside a group of tradesmen were wearing their bright orange hi-vis jackets as they sat on stools, leaning with their backs against the wall enjoying a pint in the sunshine.

A member of staff took down their details on a large notepad as they sipped on their drinks. 

'We were here on Monday, so we knew what to expect,' tradesman Peter Gregory said. 

He said they had come prepared for the 'grand opening' and had all downloaded the Government COVIDSafe app to ensure they could enjoy a drink after a hard days work. 

'Anything to keep the economy going.'

A spokeswoman for Merivale, which runs the Wynyard Hotel, said they were operating in compliance with government restrictive measures under the Public Health Order.

Dozens of patrons were seen dining at popular Mexican restaurant Fonda in Bondi on Monday evening 

The Woolpack Hotel in Redfern was one such venue where staff were excited to welcome back locals keen for a craft beer

'In the interests of providing our valued guests with places to eat, drink and socialise, Merivale has made all appropriate amendments to its venue operations to comply with the COVID Public Health Order, whilst striving to ensure that we maintain the highest quality and standards. 

'Our guests have been incredibly understanding during this time; we are grateful, as always, for their support and patience as we implement these new measures and safely open our doors once again.'

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it was vital that both businesses and patrons follow health and safety guidelines.

'We need to accept life will be different until we have an effective treatment or a vaccine,' he said.

A group of tradesman having a beer after their meal at the Young and Jacksons Pub on Monday evening in Melbourne 

The Royal Oak in affluent Double Bay was at capacity, but customers weren't seen queuing up outside

'Everyone should maintain physical distancing and practise good hygiene, and if even the mildest symptoms present, such as a sore throat or runny nose, get yourself tested.'

The government agreed to lift the customer limits from 10 to 50 after negotiating with the Australian Hotels Association and ClubsNSW.

Clubs and RSLs that have multiple restaurants, cafes or bars on site will be able to seat 50 patrons in each venue.

The move will hopefully save thousands of jobs.  

Hotel licensee Ryan Gardam said his staff had put in long hours to prepare the venue for the reopening.

'It's been hectic here and pretty much a scramble since day one of closing but we were happy to be able to invite more of our community back,' Mr Gardam said on Monday.

The Royal Oak in the affluent suburb of Double Bay was at capacity on Monday night

Punters flooded gaming floors from 10am on Monday, excited for their first slap in New South Wales in about two months. Pictured: A man using a gaming machine at The Woolpack Hotel, Redfern, Sydney 

Despite many ups and downs, Mr Gardam said he was determined to keep his doors open through the whole pandemic in some form as a hope for his staff and the local community.

'We're just taking it one day at a time, really half a day at a time actually. I'm not assuming anything at the moment.'

Hotel local Leigh Neville was delighted to see the Woolpack lively once more as he sipped his favourite hazy IPA.

The self-confessed beer snob said he had missed the daily ventures to the pub with his Brussels Griffon dogs Lexie and Henry.

'We'd walk to the nearby park every day and then we'd come in for a couple of beers, the dogs missed the staff,' he told AAP.

'I hope everyone's sensible and they can stay open.'

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