The NSW Government today unveiled what it is calling the "roadmap to freedom" for those who are fully vaccinated.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said NSW would begin to open up when double vaccination of residents aged 16 and over hit 70 per cent. She said the government would not give an exact date, but it would occur the Monday following the vaccination target being reached.
So what exactly does it mean?
According to a joint press release by Ms Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro, stay-at-home orders for adults who had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine would be lifted from the Monday after NSW passes the 70 per cent double vaccination target.
"The roadmap is subject to further fine-tuning and health advice if circumstances change drastically or if cases within a designated area remain too high," it said.
"I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to get vaccinated - if you have not had both doses of the vaccine by the time we hit the 70 per cent milestone, you will not be able to take advantage of these freedoms," Ms Berejiklian said.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the NSW Government worked with industry to design the road map, which was our "biggest incentive to get vaccinated, to reach the 70 per cent target as soon as possible".
"Our roadmap outlines the freedoms that twice vaccinated people will enjoy once we reach 70 per cent double dose, which means a meal with loved ones or a drink with friends is just around the corner," Mr Barilaro said.
Only fully vaccinated people and those with medical exemptions will have access to the freedoms allowed under the Reopening NSW roadmap.
The freedoms for vaccinated adults that will come into effect on the Monday after NSW hits the 70 per cent double dose target include:
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 aged 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 four square metre inside and one person per two square metre outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
- Retail stores can reopen under the one person per four square metre 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 four squares, capped at five clients per premises.
- Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per four square 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 four square, capped at 5000 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 four square 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 four square 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.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the easing of restrictions would come as a huge relief to struggling businesses and workers, who just want to get their lives back on track, safely.
"This roadmap gives us the light at the end of the tunnel we all want and will enable our economy to start firing again, driving our state back to prosperity," Mr Perrottet said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the government would continue to be guided by the health advice, and may still require targeted restrictions to deal with outbreaks.
"As we work toward reopening NSW, it is vital people continue to come forward and get vaccinated to help protect the community and reduce transmission of the virus," Mr Hazzard said.
When NSW hits the 80 per cent double dose target, the government intends to open up further freedoms around international travel, community sport, major events and other areas.
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