Just seven days after the state was granted freedom from its more than three months under lockdown restrictions, NSW has hit another huge milestone.
The 80% double-dose vaccination target was met on Saturday, triggering the further repeal of restrictions on Monday, 18 October. This is a full week before the target was expected to be reached and caused the Premier to repeal the promised freedom of regional travel, saying that it was still too early to allow free reign across the state.
Still, it’s a monumental achievement that saw the state administer almost 11 million jabs over the past three and a half months. Around 92% of the eligible population have had at least one jab.
Now, with new freedoms in place, the state is coming back in a big way as pubs, bars, restaurants, and even nightclubs reopen for the first time in months.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said there was a lot of hope and optimism after last week’s easing of restrictions.
“There is a bright summer ahead as we open up our state. We are doing it in a safe way,” he said.
Here’s everything you can do as of today in NSW.
NSW COVID Freedoms
Already in place are the freedoms granted at 70%. Those include:
- Scrapping the 5km bubble.
- Travel within Greater Sydney as far as The Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour, and the Central Coast.
- Re-opening of hospitality venues, hairdressers, retail, gyms, sports facilities, campgrounds, massage parlours, nail salons, art galleries, museums, libraries, tattoo parlours, and indoor swimming pools.
- The return of outdoor ticketed events for 500 people and 5000 people in stadiums and racecourses.
- 10 visitors to your home.
- 30 people at outdoor gatherings.
- 100 people at weddings and funerals.
New COVID Restrictions
The new COVID restrictions unlocked at 80% are the second stage of a three-stage process which will conclude on 1 December as the state is expected to hit 90% double dose, however, from the looks of things, we’ll already be well above that number by then.
The new freedoms mainly pertain to increased numbers and capacities in venues as well as mask-wearing rules.
- Up to 20 people are now allowed to visit homes.
- Outdoor gatherings of 50 people are now allowed.
- Community sport can resume.
- There are no attendance caps at weddings, funerals, or places of worship.
- Nightclubs can reopen.
The ‘vertical consumption’ of alcohol is now permitted while dancing indoors and outdoors is also allowed at pubs and weddings however nightclubs will remain seated for the time being. There is also to be no singing indoors.
Schools have re-opened, with those in preschool, year 1, and year 12 going back today. The remaining years will return next Monday.
Employees are encouraged to continue working from home if practical.
The rules around mask-wearing are a little confusing.
They are still required for all staff and customers in indoor settings and on public transport but they are no longer required in office buildings or outdoors.
Masks no longer have to be worn in venues in outdoor settings except by staff.
All of the above applies of course to those who are double vaccinated. Venues will still require you to check-in and provide proof of your vaccination status when you enter.