New South Wales releases roadmap for lifting lockdowns, regional travel returning next month

by James Wilkinson

New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has released the state’s roadmap for lifting lockdowns and resuming travel, which is set to happen when the state passes the 70 per cent double vaccination target.

Berejiklian said the state is well on the way to hitting the 70 per cent double dose milestone which will allow the state to open up for those who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

She said the stay-at-home orders for adults who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be lifted from the Monday after NSW passes the 70 per cent target, unless if circumstances change drastically or if cases within a designated area remain too high.

“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,” Berejiklian said.

New South Wales Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, said the NSW Government has worked with industry to design this roadmap, which is our biggest incentive to get vaccinated, to reach the 70 per cent target as soon as possible.

“Our roadmap outlines the freedoms that twice vaccinated people will enjoy once we reach 70 per cent double dose which means a meal with loved ones or a drink with friends is just around the corner,” he said.

Barilaro and Berejiklian said only fully vaccinated people and those with medical exemptions will have access to the freedoms allowed under the ‘Reopening NSW’ roadmap.

The freedoms for vaccinated adults will include allowing up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings, letting hospitality venues reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, allowing retail to reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule and personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.

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 and 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.

Domestic travel, including trips to regional NSW, will also be permitted, in a huge boost to the state’s tourism industry.

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.

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.

New South Wales Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, said the easing of restrictions would come as a huge relief to struggling businesses and workers, who just want to get their lives back on track, safely.

“This roadmap gives us the light at the end of the tunnel we all want and will enable our economy to start firing again, driving our state back to prosperity,” he said.

Berejiklian said when NSW hits the 80 per cent double dose target, the government intends to open up further freedoms around international travel, community sport, major events and other areas.