More freedoms for residents of New South Wales are on the way in the coming months as part of the state’s three-stage reopening plan, the final two parts of which have been unveiled today by the government.
The state has previously announced what life will look like for the population once 70 per cent of people are vaccinated, but details about freedoms once 80 per cent of the population has been fully inoculated have been under wraps until today.
The first stage will kick into gear on 11 October when the 70 per cent double dose vaccination target is anticipated to be reached - currently, 60.1 per cent of people have received two jabs of a vaccine.
Two weeks later, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian expects the state to hit the 80 per cent double dose vaccination target, meaning even more freedoms are just around one month away.
Berejiklian says once that target is hit, people will be allowed to travel freely throughout NSW, stand up for a drink at the pub, resume community sport and even consider international travel.
Restrictions will also be removed for fully vaccinated people attending weddings, funerals and hairdressers and unvaccinated people will be allowed to attend places of worship.
From there, Berejiklian said the third stage of the reopening will occur on 1 December 2021 - essentially the State’s ‘Freedom Day’.
By then, 90 per cent of the population will be fully vaccinated, giving health authorities the confidence to ease capacity rules to one person per four square metres, and allowing unvaccinated people to participate in daily life like those vaccinated had been enjoying a month prior.
Further, masks will also no longer be required and nightclubs will reopen.
“Thank you so much for your patience,” Berejiklian said.
“It is just this week and next week that we have to hang in there for, we’re nearly there, and let’s not give up at the last minute.
"We believe by 1 December we will be at that COVID normal state where, hopefully, we will be booking our international travel once the PM gives that green light, we will be able to go overseas as well.”
The news comes as NSW today reported 787 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths.
Business NSW welcomes three-phase roadmap
New South Wales' peak business organisation Business NSW says today's confirmation of the three phases of reopening is a positive step, providing much-needed certainty to businesses.
“It’s been an uncertain time for many businesses with lots of confusion about which businesses will be able to open and under what rules,” said Business NSW Chief Executive Daniel Hunter.
“The release of the Public Health Orders in coming days will reconfirm that the onus will be on individuals to do the right thing and abide by the rules.
“Business owners can’t be expected to also act as security guards, so long as they have a COVIDSafe plan and appropriate registration in place at their entry, they can get on with the business of being in business."
Updated at 11.33am AEST on 27 September 2021.
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