NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has outlined the state’s path out of lockdown, with restrictions set to ease in about a month for fully vaccinated people only.
While no specific date was confirmed, Ms Berejiklian said restrictions would ease the Monday after NSW hits 70 per cent double dose.
That’s likely to be October 18 – but could be a week earlier or later.
The rules when NSW reaches 70 per cent will be:
Gatherings in the home and public spaces:
• Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home where all adults are vaccinated (not including children 12 and under).
• Up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings.
Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms:
• Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
• Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule (unvaccinated people will continue to only be able to access critical retail).
• Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.
• Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
• Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.
Stadiums, theatres and major outdoor recreation facilities:
• Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4sqm, capped at 5,000 people.
• Up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated outdoor events.
• Indoor entertainment and information facilities including cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries can reopen with one person per 4sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.
Weddings, funerals and places of worship:
• Up to 50 guests can attend weddings, with dancing permitted and eating and drinking only while seated.
• Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking while seated.
• Churches and places of worship to open subject to one person per 4sqm rule, with no singing.
• Domestic travel, including trips to regional NSW, will be permitted.
• Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.
• Carpooling will be permitted.
Non-vaccinated young people aged under 16 will be able to access all outdoor settings but will only be able to visit indoor venues with members of their household.
Employers must continue to allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so.
There will be revised guidance on isolation for close and casual contacts who are fully vaccinated, with details to be provided closer to the reopening date.
Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports.
Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors.
Children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors.
Restrictions will ease for all double vaccinated people – including those who are in current Areas of Concern. However, certain towns or areas could still face tighter restrictions if there’s a particular surge of cases.
Ms Berejiklian warned NSW still “wasn’t out of the woods” despite surging vaccination rates.
“We know that case numbers are likely to peak in the next week or so and we know that our hospital system will be under the greatest stress in October,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“However we also know that living with COVID means that you have a cautious and staged reopening once you get to those high rates of vaccination in your adult population.”
NSW recorded 1,405 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 to 8pm last night, including 74 from the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District.
A man in his 80s with COVID-19 passed away at Nepean Hospital.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.