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NSW students can look forward to going back to school one week ahead of schedule after a decision by the government's crisis cabinet.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian earlier on Wednesday said the decision to send students back on October 25 was under review because of how quickly NSW was tracking towards 70 per cent double-vaccination coverage..
On Wednesday evening the cabinet agreed that school returns would start on October 18 for kindergarten, year 1 and year 12 students as part of a three-staged plan for re-entry.
Years 2, 6 and 11 would return on October 25 and remaining grades on November 1 into schools where only fully vaccinated teachers will be allowed back.
Some 863 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed across NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, and 15 deaths were reported.
Visits to aged care homes will also be allowed from October 11 with two fully vaccinated people able to visit a resident per day.
A suite of other restrictions are also due to lift on October 11, with the fully vaccinated able to dine out, go to the gym and have five visitors in their home.
NSW Police have indicated it won't be policing vaccination passports, and Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Tuesday said businesses would not be punished over rule-breakers.
The premier denied that meant no one would be enforcing the restrictions, arguing there were incentives for individuals and businesses to do the right thing.
"For a large venue with hundreds of people in there, we would expect a staff member to be checking that as people come in. For very small premises, that expectation is less," she said.
Opposition Leader Chris Minns says businesses are still confused about their obligations once lockdown is lifted.
"We want freedom day to work, but it does require clarity when it comes to these important positions," he told reporters on Wednesday.
"I don't think it's fair to ask small and medium businesses to make it up as they go along."
Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the primary focus of businesses should be ensuring the safety of their staff, not necessarily their patrons.
They need to protect themselves by being vaccinated, she said.
The reopening of the state will also mean financial support will be wound back for businesses and individuals.
The federal government on Wednesday announced billions of dollars in federal cash assistance will be phased out over two weeks once a state reaches 80 per cent double dose vaccination.
Ms Berejiklian indicated NSW may soon follow suit.
"We extended that support to everybody across the state while we could and now that we are starting to open up we really need to consider where our resources are needed," she said.
"I suspect we will have a much more targeted approach."
But Mr Minns said it is clear ongoing support must be provided by both the state and the Commonwealth for businesses that have gone months without significant revenue.
"I don't think it's as simple as them opening up the front door and turning on the light and accepting customers into their shops," he said.
It comes as the deadline looms for health workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with at least one dose.
Mr Hazzard said 97.5 per cent of the NSW Health workforce would be vaccinated by Thursday.
Excluding those who have medical exemption, those remaining will likely be unable to work.
"If you don't care enough to get vaccinated and look after your colleagues, if you don't care enough to look after your patients, then you probably shouldn't be in the health system," he said.
Meanwhile, Oberon has been placed into lockdown for one week due to an increased risk of COVID-19 transmissions.
The stay-at-home order applies to anyone who has been in the Oberon LGA from September 20.