NSW roadmap revealed: New freedoms for fully vaccinated

·News Reporter
·4-min read

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced Sydney's roadmap out of lockdown with significant freedoms only guaranteed for residents fully vaccinated.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet promised a "bright summer" with a major recommencement of hospitality and retail planned.

It comes as the state reported a further 1405 locally acquired Covid-19 cases for the previous 24-hour reporting period as well as five deaths.

Daily cases are showing further signs of plateauing, with the state going five days below the outbreak's peak of 1533 on Saturday – a trend not seen since mid-July.

"If you're not vaccinated, come forward and get the vaccine, otherwise you won't be able to participate in the many freedoms that people have at 70 per cent vaccination," Ms Berejiklian said.

"You have been warned."

She said there will be no specific date for a reopening, insisting it will only come on the Monday after the 70 per cent double dose threshold is met.

The changes will also apply to those in the 12 LGAs of concern.

Freedoms for fully vaccinated people

Fully vaccinated people will benefit from a raft of significant changes at 70 per cent double dosed which Ms Berejiklian says it in line with the Doherty Institute plan. 

Major changes include:

  • Five vaccinated visitors allowed into your home

  • 20 vaccinated people can gather outdoors

  • Hospitality venues will be able to open with a density limit of one person per four square metres

  • Density limits for outdoor hospitality settings will be at one person per two square metres outdoors

  • Patrons will be able to stand and drink while outside

  • Retail will reopen with density limits, with unvaccinated people only able to access critical retail

  • Gyms will reopen with one person per four square metres and classes of 20 can resume

  • Sporting facilities including pools to reopen

  • Stadiums and outdoor facilities to allow a maximum of 5,000 people in accordance with one person per four square metres 

  • Up to 50 guests at weddings and funerals

  • Domestic travel, including to regional NSW, will be allowed

Unvaccinated people with medical exemptions will qualify for the freedoms, NSW Health said.

The premier said once 80 per cent of the state was fully vaccinated, even further freedoms would be granted such as the possibility of international travel.

Restrictions to remain

Masks will continue to play a part in the state's response to the virus, with face coverings still required in indoor public places such as supermarkets as well as public transport. 

Employers must continue to allow staff to work from home if possible to do so.

Ms Berejiklian said there was a slight decline in vaccine uptake and urged people to come forward for the vaccine.

"It's really important for us to keep the pace," she said.

Ms Berejiklian also announced some parts of regional NSW will exit lockdown on Saturday having had zero Covid cases for at least 14 days.

Dr Chant issues warning to tired residents

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant stressed Thursday's announcement was a "cautious plan" and health authorities were keeping a close eye on events unfolding overseas.

"We need to be cautious as we learn to live with this," she said.

"And the higher the level of vaccination, and if we can deliver that to the most vulnerable of our communities in a very uniform way, we will be in a very strong position to go back to a life similar to what we had before."

Yet she warned residents as the weather improves not to take risks with the virus in the coming weeks.

"I know you've been in lockdown and you're starting to see the sun shine and those rays of hope," she said.

"The community has to also do these next hard yards.. the next four weeks are going to be tough."

The thresholds are based on people over the age of 16 and does not include over 12s who have recently been approved to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

There are now more than 200 people in intensive care with 1,175 Covid patients hospitalised. Eighty people require ventilation.

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