New South Wales will ease restrictions significantly to allow residents greater freedoms this week. Following high rates of vaccination among the eligible population, the state’s Premier has opted to open up the community for vaccinated residents after months of lockdown.
NSW’s Premier Dominic Perrottet announced on Saturday the state had reached an important milestone: 80 per cent of the eligible population have received both vaccine doses. As promised throughout the state’s months-long lockdown, this milestone marks the end of tight restrictions for the vaccinated population.
Vaccinated (and medically exempt) residents of NSW will now be able to host up to 20 people at their home or up to 50 people in outdoor gatherings. There will also no longer be any restrictions on the number of attendees at weddings or funerals.
Students will resume face-to-face teaching after months of online learning and masks will be optional in office environments. Community sport is also set to return.
Hospitality, retail stores and gyms will also see their restrictions eased. Caps on personal services such as hairdressers and spas will be removed. Dancing is now also permitted at hospitality venues, although nightclubs will have to wait for dancing restrictions to be eased.
“A huge thanks to all the nurses and the vaccination hub staff at NSW Health, the GPs, the pharmacists and every person in our state who rolled up their sleeve to get us here,” said Mr Perrottet via Facebook.
Returning Australians and international visitors will no longer be required to quarantine on arrival to the state from 1 November, provided they have undertaken a PCR test and shown proof of vaccination.
“For double-vaccinated people around the world, Sydney, NSW is open for business,” wrote Mr Perrottet.
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Andrew McKellar welcomes the changes.
“The courageous decision to end quarantine for the fully vaccinated is very welcome and sets the standard for other states to follow in the very near future,” Mr McKellar said.
Following NSW’s restrictions easing it will be up to the rest of the nation’s states to decide how they approach opening back up.