'Sign of hope': PM encourages NSW residents to make plans, book holidays

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·News Reporter
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hailed NSW's vaccination rate and hopes it inspires other states to follow suit ahead of the holiday season.

From Monday, NSW residents who are fully vaccinated will be able to go to the gym, enjoy non-essential retail, eat at restaurants and have visitors into their homes.

NSW hit 70 per cent double dose on Wednesday.

Mr Morrison told reporters on Thursday re-opening at 70 per cent "is what the national plan is about" referring to the Doherty Institute modelling.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media during a press conference at the Lodge in Canberra.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has lauded NSW for reaching 70 per cent double dose. Source: AAP

"You can make your bookings, going back to have certainty about what's happening weeks and months from now," he said.

"I want this to be a sign of hope to the rest of the country, particularly those in Victoria, who I'm mindful of today, and here in ACT, where the lockdowns continue. 

"What it does show is those vaccinations have enabled NSW to now get to that point where the light at the end of that tunnel is now very, very close."

Regional travel will be permitted for people in the Greater Sydney LGAs the Monday after the state hits 80 per cent which at this stage is likely to be late October. People outside Greater Sydney can travel to other regions, excluding Sydney, from Monday.

Mr Morrison was asked if changes to the roadmap introduced by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet were too ambitious to which the PM replied: "I think the measures that have been taken still remain cautious".

Among the changes announced to the 70 per cent roadmap announced Thursday in NSW included an increase from five visitors in the home to 10.

"I have no doubt the New South Wales government will proceed safely and cautiously," Mr Morrison said.

"But they won't be holding back at the same time the important freedoms that I think people have worked hard to achieve."

People are seen in Byron Bay, New South Wales.
People stroll past the iconic lighthouse in Byron Bay. Source: AAP

UNSW professor and epidemiologist MaryLouise McLaws insists not enough residents under the age of 40 are fully vaccinated.

“One of the issues that no government, no state government, let alone New South Wales — which is a real hot spot, or has been — has really understood, and that is the under 40 years of age represent the majority of cases, and therefore the majority of transmission,” she told ABC following the announcement.

In NSW, that is 69 per cent, Professor McLaws said.

“That's enormous. And that's the group that needs to reach 80 per cent,” she said.

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