The Northern Beaches is at the front of the queue for easing of restrictions once vaccination rates hit 70 percent.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a ‘roadmap to freedom’ today (Thursday, 09 September) once 70 percent of the population over 16-years-old is fully vaccinated with two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Stay-at-home restrictions will begin to lift for double-vaccinated people on the Monday following the 70 percent milestone being reached across the state.
However, there have been signals that the Northern Beaches may be allowed to enjoy some early lifting of restrictions if vaccination thresholds are achieved earlier than the rest of the state.
Senior sources have confirmed that preliminary discussions have been held with Northern Beaches Council about the LGA potentially being an early beneficiary of eased restrictions in recognition of the lockdown the area endured last Christmas.
As of 05 September, first dose vaccinations for the Northern Beaches were 80.3 percent and 46.7 percent of the population was fully vaccinated. The Northern Beaches also has a comparatively low number of COVID-19 cases compared to LGAs of similar size. Neighbouring LGAs also have relatively few cases compared to the LGAs of concern.
Under the roadmap to freedom announced by Premier Berejiklian today, once the 70 percent double vaccination milestone is reached, people with both doses will no longer be subject to stay-at-home orders.
“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,” said Premier Berejiklian.
Only fully vaccinated people and those with medical exemptions will have access to the freedoms allowed under the Reopening NSW roadmap.
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 4sq.m inside and one person per 2sq.m outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside
- Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sq.m 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 4sq.m, capped at five clients per premises
- Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sq.m 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 4sq.m, 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 4sq.m or 75 percent 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 4sq.m 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
When NSW hits the 80 percent double dose target, the government intends to open up further freedoms around international travel, community sport, major events and other areas.
Image: NSW Health