“If you’re not vaccinated … you won’t be able to participate”: Berejiklian

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. File photo.

By PETER HACKNEY

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has unveiled plans for the state to exit lockdown, as NSW recorded another 1,405 infections and six deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. 

Ms Berejiklian today unveiled the so-called ‘recovery roadmap’ outlining the first freedoms Sydney will enjoy after more than two months of lockdown.

She said most of the freedoms would be granted to the fully vaccinated, with said freedoms to kick in on the first Monday after NSW reaches the milestone of 70 per cent of people aged 16 and over fully vaccinated. 

At the current rate of vaccine uptake, this is expected to occur around 18 October. 

In her strongest comments to date on Covid vaccination, she told this morning’s 11am media briefing: “You have been warned, if you’re not vaccinated, come forward and get the vaccine, otherwise you won’t be able to participate in the many freedoms that people have at 70 per cent vaccination.”

Stage one of the roadmap will see private homes open for up to five visitors at a time (not including children aged 12 and under); outdoor gatherings of up to 20 people allowed; and shops, gyms, hairdressers, beauty salons and hospitality venues reopen under the strict capacity limits of the previous ‘one person per 4sqm’ rule. 

At the same time, up to 50 people will be allowed to attend weddings and funerals, churches and places of worship, again, under the one person per 4sqm rule.

Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums and theme parks will also be allowed to open under the 4sqm rule, capped at 5,000 people, while indoor entertainment facilities, including cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries would reopen under the 4sqm rule or at 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.

People who cannot prove they are fully vaccinated via the Service NSW app would be turned away from venues, the premier confirmed. 

Once the state reaches 80 per cent fully vaccinated, further freedoms would be considered, including international travel, she said.

Ms Berejiklian said it was up to the people of NSW as to when that would happen. 

“We don’t want to put a specific date on that. It is really up to how quickly people get vaccinated and how many people come forward,” she said. 

At time of writing, 42.7 per cent of eligible people in NSW have been fully vaccinated, while 75.6 per cent have received their first dose.

Peter Hackney is the editor-in-chief of the Sydney Sentinel.