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Australia's most populous state to relax restrictions on restaurants, cafes

SYDNEY, May 22 (Reuters) - Australia's most populous state said on Friday restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus will be eased to allow cafes and restaurants to have up to 50 patrons from June 1.

New South Wales (NSW) state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the easing of restrictions, which currently limit restaurants and cafes to 10 patrons, was needed to revive the local economy.

"Losing 221,000 jobs in April was a disaster. We don't want to see that continue," Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

Australia's hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit by social distancing restrictions imposed in March to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Nationally, nearly 600,000 people were in April forced out of work by the restrictions. (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)