Lockdowns in some NSW regions outside of Sydney will be lifted on the weekend, provided they’ve had no COVID cases for 14 days.
And stay-at-home orders for adults who’ve had both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be lifted after NSW passes the 70 per cent vaccination target, most likely by Mid October.
The changes are part of Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s “Roadmap to freedom”, released today.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the regions currently deemed low risk will emerge from lockdown at 12:01 am on Saturday, September 11.
It means that retail and hospitality venues can reopen, home visitors will be allowed, weddings and funerals for up to 50 people will be allowed
However, many restrictions will remain in place, including a ban on community sport, and if a single case occurs, the lockdowns will return for a minimum of 14 days.
Regions including the mid and far North Coasts, the North-west, Albury, Riverina and Murrumbidgee regions will reopen, while southern regions, the south-east, the Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Hunter, Central Coast, Central West and parts of the Far West will stay in lockdown (the full list of regional LGAs still in lockdown is below).
“While unfortunately many regional LGAs will remain in lockdown due to COVID case numbers, for other parts of the state, stay-at-home orders will be lifted allowing more freedoms for those communities,” Barilaro said.
“The LGAs which remain in lockdown will continue to be monitored and we will update those communities on a regular basis. My strong advice to everyone in regional NSW is to get vaccinated as soon as you can. Our communities need to continue to get vaccinated so that when NSW reaches 70 and 80%, restrictions can ease significantly.”
The announcement comes as NSW recorded 1,405 new locally acquired cases to 8pm last night. Five more people have died.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the reopening roadmap was subject to further fine-tuning and health advice if circumstances change drastically.
“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,” she said.
The state is expected to hit the 70% double dose milestone on Monday. When NSW hits the 80% double dose target, the government will look at allowing around international travel, community sport, and major events.
The regional & double vaccination rules
The Deputy Premier said that the areas coming out of lockdown still have multiple rules to observe.
“There will be capacity limits for our hotels, cafes and restaurants, including the four-square-metre rule, mask-wearing, social distancing. There are rules around certain activities that won’t recommence,” Barilaro said.
“Community sport won’t be permitted yet. The opportunity to get back to retail shopping, back to work, back to enjoying time with family and friends. It is still a restricted environment.”
Under the relaxed rules in regional LGAs where stay-at-home orders have lifted, adults who have been double dosed, can do the following:
Gatherings in the home and public spaces:
- Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home (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 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
- Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule.
- Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.
- Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
- Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.
- Schools will re-open with Level 3 COVIDSafe measures in place.
Stadiums, theatres and major outdoor recreation facilities:
- Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4sqm, 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 4sqm 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 4sqm rule, with no singing.
- Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.
- Carpooling will be permitted.
- 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.
Stay-at-home orders will remain in place in the following LGAs:
- Broken Hill
- Central Coast
- Central Darling
- Goulburn Mulwarre
- Lake Macquarie
- Port Stephens
- Snowy Monaro
- Upper Hunter