This Is What New South Wales' Full Roadmap Out of Lockdown Looks Like
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced the next phase in the state's roadmap out of lockdown, which includes travelling throughout NSW and restarting community sport when 80 percent of NSW residents over 16 are double jabbed.
Sydneysiders, it's roadmap time — again. If you've been wondering how life throughout New South Wales will change as more people across the state get vaccinated, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has outlined the details today, Monday, September 27. And, you now have a few new double-jabbed thresholds to pop in your diary, plus some new dates as well.
Back at the beginning of September, the Premier announced the first phase of New South Wales' roadmap out of lockdown, which focused on the 70-percent fully vaccinated threshold. That mark is fast approaching, and is expected to be hit by Monday, October 11. From there, more rules will ease again when 80-percent of NSW residents over the age of 16 have been doubled-jabbed. And, on Wednesday, December 1, restrictions will relax even further again.
"I know people are counting down the minutes until we reach 70-percent double-dose and the freedoms that will provide, and today we are providing further certainty by announcing the 80-percent roadmap and future settings," said the Premier. "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," Berejiklian continued.
At the 80-percent double-dosed threshold, which is expected to arrive around two weeks after the 70-percent double-jabbed mark is hit — so, by the time October is out — the focus is still on the fully vaxxed. For everyone who has rolled up their sleeves twice, gatherings at home will go up to ten, and outdoors they'll increased to 20. At COVID-safe events, 200 people will be able to attend, with that number going up to 500 if it's seated and ticketed. Also, in hospitality venues, vertical consumption will be back indoors.
Community sport will also be allowed again, retail will still be under the one person per four-square-metres rule that kicks in at 70-percent, and hairdressers, nail salons and other personal services businesses will be under the same density cap — but without the five-client limit that applies at the lower threshold. Gyms and indoor recreation facilities will still be under the same capacity requirement as well, hosting classes with up to 20 people.
Sporting facilities and major recreation outdoor facilities — which spans stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos — will also remain under the one person per four-square-metres rule with a 5000-person cap. At indoors venues such as cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries the one person per four-square-metres rule will still be in place, or they'll be able to fill to a maximum of 75-percent fixed seated capacity (whichever is larger).
Weddings and funerals won't have any caps, but will have the one person per four-square-metres requirement.
And, this is when domestic travel — which includes trips to regional NSW — will be permitted. It was originally going to kick in at 70-percent double-dosed, but has been pushed back to 80-percent. Caravan parks and camping grounds will be allowed to open, including for the unvaxxed. Also, carpooling will be on the cards again.
Masks will still be required in all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports.
Then, the next phase of the roadmap kicks in on Wednesday, December 1. This is the phase that Berejiklian is calling "COVID-normal".
At this point, there'll be no limits on gatherings at home or outdoors, plus the density rule at venues and planned events will move to one person per two-square-metres — including in hospitality, retail and in gyms, at major recreation outdoor facilities, and at indoor entertainment sites. Amusement centres and nightclubs can reopen, too, but under the one person per four-square-metres rule. Indoor pools can reopen as well, under the one person per two-square-metres requirement.
Plus, weddings and funerals will also move to the one person per two-square-metres cap. And, the roadmap will include unvaccinated people at the same settings from Wednesday, December 1 as well — so, when summer starts, the relaxed rules will apply to everyone.
These just-announced plans for the 80-percent fully vaxxed mark and December 1 all build upon NSW's already-revealed outline for life at the 70-percent double-jabbed threshold — which is when fully vaccinated Sydneysiders will first be permitted to sip beers in pubs, eat meals in restaurants, have friends over to their homes and see movies in cinemas again. Hospitality venues will operate under the one person per four-square-metres rule inside and the one person per two-square-metres rule outside, with vertical consumption only outdoors. Most other venues will be under the same one person per four-square-metres cap, including retail, major recreation outdoor facilities and indoor sites. Also, that's when five-person at-home and 20-person outdoor gatherings will allowed as long as all adults are vaxxed.
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) September 27, 2021
It's worth noting that the national plan requires all of Australia to reach each vaccination threshold overall before an individual state or territory that's met that milestone can ease restrictions — but that hasn't been mentioned in NSW's roadmap.
Also, what's set to happen with international travel hasn't yet been revealed, but the Federal Government has advised that heading overseas again is likely to return "by Christmas at the latest".
Today's NSW announcement came as the state reported 787 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, September 26.
Wondering where you can currently get vaccinated? There's a handy online map that helps you find your nearest clinic. Keen to keep an eye on vaccination rates? A heap of online resources will help you do that as well.
Top image: Cassandra Hannagan.
Published on September 27, 2021 by Sarah Ward