Perrottet adjusts NSW roadmap out of lockdown

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet. File photo.

By DAMIEN NOVAK

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has adjusted the state’s roadmap out of Covid, previously announced by former NSW Gladys Berejiklian, easing various restrictions earlier and increasing visitor caps on gatherings.  

In a 9am press conference at the Covid vaccination centre at Qudos Bank Arena, Homebush, the new premier announced an altered roadmap, off the back of yesterday’s milestone which saw 70 per cent of people aged 16 and over fully vaccinated. 

The 70 per cent achievement will see the state take its first steps out of lockdown on Monday.

“Yesterday marked a great milestone for our state with our 70 per cent double dose vaccination rate. [It has] ensured we can open up as safely and as quickly as possible,” Perrottet said. 

“Come Monday, NSW gets back on track as we start to open up.”

The first change announced by Perrottet was that indoor pools – previously scheduled to open on 1 December – will now open on Monday, 11 October. 

Home visitations – previously capped at five visitors per household once the state hits the 70 per cent mark – will now be doubled to ten. 

The cap on outdoor gatherings – previously capped at 30 from Monday – will now be 40.

Similarly, the cap on funerals and weddings, which was initially announced at 50 people once NSW reached the 70 per cent mark, has been increased to 100 people. 

The three-tiered school reopening timetable, meanwhile, has been scrapped. 

Instead, all school students will return to school on 25 October, in a move described by the Premier as: “Great for kids and a major relief to parents and their sanity.” 

All teachers must be fully vaccinated but there will be no requirement for students to be vaccinated, confirmed NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell, who also attended the press conference. 

The Premier also made changes to the roadmap in terms of what will happen when the state reaches the 80 per cent vaccination target.

The requirement to wear masks in offices will be removed once the state reaches the milestone.

Meanwhile, 20 people will be allowed to gather in private homes, 50 people will be allowed to gather outdoors, while 3,000 people will be allowed to attend outdoor ticketed events. 

In changes affecting regional NSW, Deputy Premier Paul Toole said workers in regional areas (excluding the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong) who have received one vaccination dose will be permitted to return to their workplace from 11 October and will be given a grace period until 1 November to receive their second jab.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant did not attend this morning’s meeting but the Premier claimed: “Every change to this roadmap has been supported and approved by Health.” 

The changes to the roadmap come as the number of new infections in NSW continues to fall; 587 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, with 112,186 tests conducted over the same period.