NSW's proposed 'freedom plan' – when pubs and gyms will open up

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·4-min read
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  • Details of NSW ‘freedom plan’ revealed

  • Restrictions to ease when 70 per cent fully vaccinated

  • Reopening of bars, restaurants and gyms

  • Face-to-face schooling may resume from Term 4

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed on Friday she will start to outline the state's path to freedom next week despite announcing Sydney will be locked down until September 30.  

"We will have two things to announce next week. Our plan to what schools look like for term two, term three and four," she said after announcing 644 new local cases of Covid-19

"Add also the 6 million jabs. In the interim this is what life will like for us until the end of September."

It follows NSW Police Minister David Elliott's comments about the state's "freedom plan" on Channel 7's Sunrise program on Friday morning.

People are seen exercising at the Bay Run in Sydney, Saturday, August 14, 2021. Source: AAP
NSW's ticket to freedom has been revealed with restrictions set to ease when 70% of the population is fully vaccinated. Source: AAP

He confirmed the NSW government plan of allowing people who have received two doses of the vaccine to be allowed to visit bars, restaurants and gyms when 70 per cent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated.

Health authorities have estimated that goal will be reached on October 28. By mid-September, 80 per cent of adults are predicted to have received one dose.

“This is something that a lot of people have been working very hard towards,” Mr Elliot said.

“It makes sense, it makes perfect sense, it’s exactly what the British government has done."

The proposed plan is still awaiting sign-off from Premier Gladys Berejiklian, The Australian reported.

What will reopen when we hit 70 per cent vaccinated?

It is understood hospitality venues will be among the first to reopen for outdoor dining with strict capacity limits, once the 70 per cent vaccination level is achieved.

Gyms could also open up to vaccinated people.

It is anticipated proof of vaccination through the Medicare app will be required to access these venues.

Face-to-face schooling may resume from Term 4, which begins on October 5.

Several young people running on treadmill in gym wearing face mask. Source: Getty Images
Gyms will be among the first venues to reopen but will require proof of vaccination. Source: Getty Images

However the majority of restrictions — including large crowd events, the ability to drink while standing and reopening of nightclubs — won’t be wound back until the state at least hits 80 per cent vaccination.

“We’ve got to make sure that we continue urging people to get the vaccine — and I can tell you that as member for a Western Sydney electorate, the best way to motivate my constituents to get the vaccine is to tell them they’ll be able to go to the pub soon,” Mr Elliott said.

What happens when we hit six million jabs?

The premier has set a vaccine target for NSW to hit 6 million jabs by the end of August, which would mean roughly half the state's population would have one or two doses.

She said by Friday 5.6 million jabs had already been administered putting NSW on track to meet that target.

Ms Berejiklian has repeatedly said some restrictions will be loosened once this goal is reached.

“When we get to six million jabs, those that are vaccinated will have the opportunity to do something that they can’t do now,” she told reporters.

It’s believed the “something” she refers to is an expansion of the “singles bubble” and access to beauty services such as hairdressers.

Around 29 per cent of NSW residents aged over 16 are fully vaccinated and just over 54 per cent have had their first dose.

A women in a mask cutting hair. Source: Getty Images
It's understood services such has hairdresses will reopen next month when NSW has reached the taret of six million jabs. Source: Getty Images

Coexisting with Delta

As Covid-19 cases continue to surge in NSW, the Premier has conceded it won’t be possible to reach zero infections and we must learn to “coexist with Delta”.

"Every state is going to have to confront the prospect that once we accept that we can't live in our bubble forever," she told reporters on Thursday.

“Every state has to live with the fact that once you get to 80 per cent double doses, and your population is allowed to live more freely, that the Delta variant will creep in, because we are so connected.

“We know that once you open up, once borders come down, once there is a prospect of international travel ... we do need to coexist with Delta.”

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