In response to the faster-than-expected rate of vaccination, the NSW Government will further ease rules for those who are fully vaccinated by bringing forward many of the roadmap changes scheduled for 1 December to Monday, 8 November as the state prepares to open once more.
From 8 November there will be no limit on visitors to a home, no rules for outdoor gatherings with fewer than 1,000 people, and indoor swimming pools will re-open for all purposes.
Businesses will be able to welcome in more fully vaccinated customers with all premises to move to 1 person per 2 sqm rule, and nightclubs will be able to re-open dancefloors.
Caps will be removed for settings other than gym and dance classes (where the 20 person cap for classes will remain) and replaced by density limits or 100% fixed seated capacity for major recreation outdoor facilities (including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos) and entertainment facilities (including cinemas and theatres).
These freedoms will only be available for people who are fully vaccinated, including those who have medical exemptions and children under the age of 16. COVID Safe check-ins and proof of vaccination will still be required.
Those who are not fully vaccinated must still abide by pre-roadmap restrictions until the State reaches the 95% double vaccination target, or 15 December, whichever happens first.
The current settings for masks, which apply to everyone, will remain in place until the State reaches the 95% double vaccination target, or 15 December, whichever happens first.
To maintain high levels of immunity across the community, NSW Health has commenced rolling out a booster vaccination program at its clinics to individuals aged 18 and older who received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine jab 6 months or more ago. Pfizer will be used for boosters regardless of the COVID-19 vaccine received for the first or second dose.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said bringing forward the easing of restrictions was only possible because of the State’s high vaccinations rates and the roll out of booster shots.
“Everybody has done an incredible job to ensure NSW can ease restrictions in a safe and considered way earlier than we planned,” Mr Perrottet said.
“We are on track to reach 90% double vaccination weeks ahead of schedule, and this is a testament to everybody across NSW and especially our health workers. There is still a long way to go but the NSW Government is standing with the community and continuing to do everything that we can, including booster shots, to keep people safe as we open up.”
Deputy Premier Paul Toole said regional NSW had rolled up their sleeves for vaccinations and we’re now ready to welcome back visitors.
“Regions across NSW answered the call when we asked them to come forward and get vaccinated. Thanks to the community for coming out and getting the jab,” Mr Toole said.
“The time is right now for regional businesses to welcome back visitors safely in every town across the state and get tills turning over.”
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said reaching the 90% target will be a significant milestone in the state’s recovery.
“We are inching closer and closer to returning to many of our pre-pandemic activities, and this latest easing of restrictions will be welcome news for hundreds of businesses ready to re-open, expand their operations, and welcome back more customers,” Mr Ayres said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said NSW has amongst the most vaccinated populations in the world and rolling out booster shots would continue to maintain that advantage.
“We are amongst the best in the world when it comes to vaccinations, but we cannot forget that COVID will continue to circulate in the community. We must remain vigilant.”
“Boosters are a key priority moving forward and we continue to work closely with the Commonwealth on the COVID-19 vaccination roll out. I want to encourage anyone who is yet to be vaccinated to make a booking as soon as possible.”
Original content from NSW Government Health Department website. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.
Nina Alvarez is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel. Her interests include writing, particularly about the healthcare sector and the many ways it can improve to further benefit people from all walks of life.
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