NSW’s road map out of lockdown revealed: everything you need to know
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced the state is set to move out of lockdown in October, when businesses including pubs and gyms will be able to reopen.
The restrictions will ease on the first Monday after the state has reached 70 per cent vaccination coverage of people aged 16 and older. Current forecasts predict NSW will reach this target in mid-October.
It means trips to the pubs with mates, haircuts and road trips within NSW will all be back on the cards for fully vaccinated people.
Meanwhile, parts of regional NSW with no COVID-19 cases will have restrictions eased on the weekend.
Pubs will be subject to density limits of one person per four square metres inside and one person per two square metres outdoors. Drinking standing up will be permitted outside.
Gyms will also be allowed to reopen under the one person per four square metre rule and will be able to run classes for up to 20 people.
Up to 500 people will be able to attend ticketed and seated outdoor events while indoor entertainment facilities, such as cinemas, can reopen with 75 per cent of fixed seating capacity.
The new freedoms will only apply to people aged 16 and older who are fully vaccinated or have medical exemptions.
“You have been warned. If you’re not vaccinated come forward and get the vaccine, otherwise you won’t be able to participate in the many freedoms that people have at 70 per cent vaccination,” Ms Berejiklian said.
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said staff at venues allowed to open will also need to be fully vaccinated, and workplaces will be required to display evidence of this.Can I finally fix my regrowth?
After being shut away since June, you will be able to visit your hairdresser once the state reaches the 70 per cent double vaccination target. The same will apply to other beauty services such as nail salons and waxing. Businesses will be limited to five clients at one time.
Retail stores can reopen subject to density limits (unvaccinated people will continue only to be able to access essential retail).What about weddings and funerals?
Up to 50 guests will be able to attend weddings, with dancing permitted and eating and drinking allowed only while seated.
Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking permitted while seated.
Churches and places of worship will open subject to the one person per four square metre rule, with no singing.Does it matter where I live?
The five-kilometre rule will be scrapped and the eased restrictions will be applied across the whole state.
But Ms Berejiklian said that, at any time, fully vaccinated people in particular areas might be subject to harsher restrictions if case numbers suddenly surged.
“Your mobility will be restricted within a particular distance. That could happen at any stage,” she said.Are road trips on the cards?
Domestic travel, including trips within regional NSW, will be allowed and caravan parks and camping grounds will reopen.
Parts of regional NSW will leave lockdown on Saturday, including the North and Mid North coasts of NSW, the Riverina, Albury and the Murrumbidgee.
Only regional locations that have had zero COVID-19 cases for the previous 14 days can leave lockdown before the vaccination target is met.
“For the areas coming out of lockdown, you are not coming back to a pre-lockdown environment,” Deputy Premier John Barilaro said.
“There will be capacity limits for our hotels, cafes and restaurants, including the four square metre rule, mask wearing, social distancing.”
The following regional local government areas will remain under lockdown: Bathurst, Bega, Blayney, Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Cabonne, Central Coast, Central Darling, Cessnock, Dubbo, Dungog, Eurobodalla, Forbes, Gilgandra, Goulburn Mulwarre, Kiama, Lake Macquarie, Lithgow, Maitland, Mid-Coast, Mid-Western, Muswellbrook, Narrabri, Narromine, Newcastle, Orange, Parkes, Port Stephens, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Singleton, Snowy Monaro, Upper Hunter, Walgett and Wingecarribee.
Up to five visitors (excluding children 12 and under) will be allowed in a home where all adults are vaccinated.
Up to 20 people can gather in public outdoor settings.Will I still have to wear a mask?
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.
While working, hospitality staff will still be required to wear a mask when outdoors while children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors.Will I still have to self-isolate if I come in contact with a confirmed case?
The government says it will issue revised guidance on isolation for close and casual contacts who are fully vaccinated, with details to be provided closer to the reopening date.
Dr Chant said authorities were still working out the logistics of a few things “in the new world order”, including the state’s contact tracing service.What about schools?
It was previously announced that students will begin to return to face-to-face learning on October 25 and that date remains unchanged.
“In relation to schools, we always had to choose a fixed date. Unlike other venues and adult activity, it is really important for school communities, for students and teachers to have a fixed date they open to provide certainty,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We assumed, and I think that assumption will bear fruit that by that stage, 70 per cent of adults would be vaccinated and there would be some start of the vaccination for 12-15-year-olds.”
Schools can reopen in areas of regional NSW where stay-at-home orders have been lifted.
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