Is that a light we see at the end of the COVID tunnel? Recently, Premier Gladys Berejiklian suggested that once NSW hits the 80% milestone for those fully vaccinated, citizens will be able to travel without restriction within the state. Even better, when the 90% mark is hit, even more restrictions will lift. So, at last, a three-stage COVID-19 roadmap that outlines the path to freedom has been unveiled.
The first stage will be the 70% mark, anticipated to be reached soon. Restrictions will begin easing the Monday after, namely, October 11th. This will mean people can visit family, with up to five visitors in a home where all adults are vaccinated (not including children). Up to 20 people will be able to assemble in outdoor settings. Shops will reopen. However, those not yet fully vaccinated will only be able to access ‘critical’ retail. Gyms and hairdressers will open their doors again, as will the hospitality sector subject to the one-person-per-four-square-metres rule.
The second stage, at 80%, is anticipated to be reached on or around the 25th. After that, NSW residents will be allowed to have ten people visit their homes. Standing up in a bar will be permitted, while there will be a capacity restriction of one person per every four-square metre of floor space. In addition, the customer cap of five customers in premises will be lifted at hairdressers and services, subject to the same capacity restriction. At the 80% milestone, there will be no limit on the number of attendees at weddings or funerals once everyone is fully vaccinated. Up to 500 people can attend controlled events.
As for employees, if reasonably practicable, then employers must continue to allow workers to carry out their work from home. Albeit employers must still require unvaccinated employees to work from home (if it’s practical). Also, children will return to school on the same date.
On December 01st, the third stage will apply to everyone regardless of their vaccination status. It is anticipated 90%, or ‘full’ vaccination, will have been reached on this date. Restrictions will be mostly lifted. There will be no limit on the number of visitors to a home or the number of people who can attend informal outdoor gatherings. The capacity rule will reduce to one person per 2 sqm for indoor and outdoor settings. This capacity rule will also apply to retail stores, personal services (e.g., hairdressers, nail, beauty, tattoo, spa, and massage), hospitality venues, gyms, and indoor recreation facilities. It will apply to weddings with dancing to be permitted and drinking while standing in a bar. Churches and places of worship can operate with one person per 2sqm, but singing will be permitted. Cinemas, music venues, and theatres will operate at one person per 2sqm; however, nightclubs will remain restricted to one person per 4sqm. Lastly, working from home will be at your employer’s discretion.
Finally, the end to lockdowns is in sight.
This does not provide an exhaustive list of restrictions. For more information, please visit https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/