Residents of New South Wales now have a clear path to follow out of the pandemic and lockdowns after the Premier today revealed the roadmap for easing restrictions at 80 per cent double dose vaccination.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the Monday after NSW hits the 80 per cent double dose vaccination target restrictions will ease in hospitality venues where drinking will be allowed while standing up indoors and all premises will operate at one person per four square metres indoors and one person per two square metres outdoors.
In addition group bookings will be limited to 20 and those who are not fully vaccinated will only be able to access hospitality settings for takeaway. Hospitality staff will still be required to wear a mask while both indoors and outdoors.
“I know people are counting down the minutes until we reach 70 per cent double dose and the freedoms that will provide, and today we are providing further certainty by announcing the 80 per cent roadmap and future settings,” Premier Berejiklian said.
“Vaccination remains our ticket to freedom so we need to work even harder to get jabs in arms, to help stop the spread, minimise outbreaks and ensure people are protected when we open up.”
The Premier also outlined that from Wednesday 1 December all NSW citizens regardless of vaccination status will have restrictions removed. From then hospitality venues will be able to operate with one person per two square metres inside and outside, with no seating required for eating and drinking.
Mask wearing will still be mandatory for front-of-house hospitality workers.
Given updated health advice, adjustments have been made to the 70 per cent roadmap. Regional travel will now not be allowed until 80 per cent (fully vaccinated only), and a booking cap has been introduced for hospitality venues of 20 people per booking.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said: “This change is necessary to give some regional areas the time they need to increase local vaccination rates.”
Looking ahead to the end of lockdowns in NSW, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the milestone marked a shift in gear for the State’s economic recovery.
“There’s a real sense of optimism returning to our community as our vaccination rates keep climbing and that’s giving businesses the confidence they need to reopen and for people to start returning to work and getting their lives back on track,” he said.
The roadmap may be fine-tuned by NSW Health as it monitors the COVID-19 situation over the coming weeks.
Vaccination remains the quickest way out of lockdown for NSW, if you are not booked in for a vaccine yet, head to the NSW Health website to book an appointment.
By Andy Young