New South Wales has followed its southern counterpart Victoria in announcing a raft of eased COVID-19 restrictions today, set to come into effect from tomorrow.
Described as “measured” and “appropriate” by Premier Dominic Perrottet, the easing of restrictions includes the removal of density limits and the reintroduction of singing and dancing in indoor venues.
In addition, the state government will no longer recommend people work from home, and will instead leave that direction to be at the discretion of employers.
“These changes today are measured and proportionate to circumstances we find ourselves in,” the Premier said.
“We are able to lift these restrictions based on the efforts that people have made right across the state.”
As such, from Friday 18 February, the two-square-metre density limit will be removed, and singing and dancing will be permitted at all venues except for music festivals where it will recommence from 25 February.
QR check-in requirements will be ditched across the board, except for nightclubs and at music festivals with more than 1,000 people in attendance.
One week later, on 25 February, even more restrictions will be eased, including the removal of the mask mandate and the 20,000 person cap on music festivals.
Masks will no longer be required in indoor settings except for on public transport, but the NSW Government will still encourage masks be worn where individuals cannot maintain a safe distance from others.
Finally, the duration of hotel quarantine for unvaccinated travellers will be reduced from 14 days to just seven.
“As we move forward, there is the potential that we will have spikes in cases from time to time,” Perrottet noted.
“That is not a measure of success or failure, that is living alongside the virus. This is the new reality.”
Updated at 1.32pm AEDT on 17 February 2022.
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support