A council in Sydney’s west will not allow unvaccinated people over the age of 16 to enter libraries, gyms and pools despite changes to the rule by the state government.
As of Wednesday, the NSW Government eased restrictions on unvaccinated people allowing them most of the freedoms fully vaccinated people have.
However, Michael Clarke Recreation Centre at Carnes Hill, which is run by Liverpool City Council, wrote on Facebook the day before restrictions changed this week that the unvaccinated would not be allowed in citing a council “directive”.
“Access to the Aquatic and Leisure venues (Whitlam Leisure Centre, Michael Wenden Aquatic Leisure Centre and Michael Clarke Recreation Centre) will only be granted to those that can provide proof of full vaccination or a NSW Health medical exemption,” it wrote.
“If you wish to continue to suspend your membership, please contact the Centre and we will extend this free of charge.
"Thank you for your patience and support as our staff have worked through these restrictions over the last few months."
Council said they must remain vigilant
A Liverpool City Council spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia that despite the double dose rate being 93.3 per cent in Liverpool, keeping the vaccination policy in place will help protect the community.
"Covid-19 is still with us," they said. "The Public Health Order allows businesses to still require proof of vaccination at their own discretion.
"This decision has been taken as Covid-19 positive cases in the Liverpool Local Government area have increased in recent weeks."
The spokesperson said that extending the vaccination policy will be monitored and may change based on Covid-19 positive case numbers in the Liverpool Local Government Area.
"You will need to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination before you can check-in," they said.
"Face masks must be worn indoors at all times for everyone aged 12 and over in Libraries and other facilities where mask wearing signage is in place."
'Segregation at its finest'
Some local residents were furious with the changes, many saying it was a huge blow after marking December 15 as 'Freedom Day' in their calendars.
"These are Community facilities paid and funded by ratepayers," one woman wrote on Facebook. "Maybe people who are denied entry need to ask for a discount on their rates if they are property owners within this council!"
"So disgusted with Liverpool council for disregarding the state decision," added another.
"Are you saying you know better than the state government?" another asked. "Completely unacceptable."
"Segregation and discrimination at its finest," another furiously wrote.
All staff and visitors aged 16 and over need to be fully vaccinated to enter the following Council-owned facilities until further notice:
Customer Service Centre
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Bellbird Dining & Bar
Liverpool City Libraries
Liverpool Regional Museum
Michael Clarke Recreation Centre, Whitlam Leisure Centre and Michael Wenden Aquatic Leisure Centre
Community Recycling Centre
Liverpool Animal Shelter
Daily Covid cases surge again to new NSW record
Covid cases in NSW reached an all time high on Thursday, a day after the state dropped more restrictions across the state on Wednesday.
The health department reported 1,742 new cases and no new deaths on Thursday, with 26 people in the ICU and 192 people are being treated in hospital in total.
No deaths were reported.
More than 143,000 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours.
Cases skyrocketed on Wednesday with more than 1300 new ones recorded. Restrictions were also eased with masks no longer required in indoor settings, except for public transport and airports, and the unvaccinated granted many of the same freedoms as fully vaccinated people.
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