The New South Wales government has today announced what the roadmap out of lockdown will look like, with full details of the freedoms that will be granted when the state hits both 70% and 80% vaccination rates.
Speaking at a press conference this morning, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that when the state hits 70% full vaccination, restrictions will begin to lift for those who are vaccinated, confirming previous announcements and going into more detail over exactly what that will look like.
“It’s just this week and next week we need to hang in for,” she said.
“A huge thanks, we’re nearly there”.
From Monday 11 October, the Monday after NSW is expected to reach a 70 per cent full vaccination rate, hospitality venues will be reopening, along with hairdressers, retail, gyms and sports facilities. These venues will still retain a one person per four square metre rule indoors, and a two person per square metre rule outdoors.
Caravan parks and campgrounds will reopen from this date, weddings and funerals will be allowed to have 50 guests, and churches will have no caps on capacity outside of the square metre rule.
Mask wearing will also be scrapped outdoors, but will remain for indoor venues.
“Let’s not think about this as a freedom day, let’s think about this as a staged reopening for things getting back to normal,” Berejiklian said.
However, Deputy Premier John Barilaro followed this up by saying “freedom day is only a few weeks away”.
“The key continues to be vaccination rates, so please do not hesitate and book in for your free COVID-19 vaccine today so we can reach these targets as soon as possible,” Barilaro said.
From around the 25th of October, when NSW is expected to hit the 80 per cent full vaccination rate, travel will return to NSW, with vaccinated people will be able to move freely throughout the state.
This is when freedoms will really begin to kick in, with pubs reopening, “vertical consumption” of alcohol, community sport, 10 visitors to the home, no caps on funerals and weddings, and no caps on religious services.
All venues will still have to retain the one person per four square metre rule inside and one per two square metres outside.
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) September 27, 2021
While freedoms will be returning as the vaccination rates climb to reach those key milestones, only the vaccinated will be granted those benefits.
December 1st has been set as a final stage for reopening in which unvaccinated people will have restrictions lifted, the Premier said. This is what she has referred to as the “COVID normal state,” with minimum restrictions in place.
“It’s a disappointing day for those who are unvaccinated,” the Premier said, emphasising that those who are unvaxxed will not only have to wait for the next two weeks, but a following eight weeks or so until they can enjoy the freedoms that the rest of the state will get soon.
From 1 December, all venues will move to the two square metre rule indoors, masks will not be required indoors for anyone, indoor pools and nightclubs can reopen.
When we hit 80%, the Premier also suggested that international caps will return to pre-delta levels, with around 3,500 Aussies coming into the country each week. She said that she would speak with the Prime Minister about these plans as international travel gears up to return.
“If fully vaccinated Aussies are coming home there is no reason why we need to have a cap after a particular number. So I’m all for reuniting Aussies, reuniting families,” she said.
Berejiklian also warned that case numbers will go “through the roof” as restrictions lift and that hospitals are expected to be inundated in late October and November.
NSW has officially passed 85.5% single-dose vaccination and 60% double dose vaccination. The state recorded 787 cases