New Covid roadmap accelerates freedoms for the fully vaccinated

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, pictured, has announced a new roadmap for the state after it passed the 85 per cent double vaccination rate for those aged 16 and over.

By TILEAH DOBSON

Residents of NSW have continued to hit Covid-19 vaccinations goals so quickly that the NSW Government has decided to fast-track further easing of restrictions for the fully vaccinated.

Originally, many restrictions were to be eased under the old roadmap on Wednesday, 1 December – but these have now been moved forward to Monday, 8 November, with 87.82 per cent of people aged 16 and over now fully vaccinated, whilst 93.58 per cent have had their first dose.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet made the announcement pertaining to fully vaccinated residents today, while declaring the unvaccinated will now have to wait until at least 15 December for any further freedoms.

From 8 November, there will be no limit on visitors to a home for fully vaccinated people and no limitations on outdoor gatherings with fewer than 1,000 people. Indoor swimming pools will also reopen for all purposes for the fully vaccinated.

Businesses will be able to welcome more fully vaccinated customers from 8 November. moving to a one person per 2 square metre rule instead of the one person per 4 square metre rule, while nightclubs will be able to reopen their dance floors.

Gyms and dance classes will still have to adhere to a cap of 20 people, however caps will be removed and replaced by a density limit at other settings, such as stadiums, racecourses, theme parks, zoos, cinemas and theatres.

Fully vaccinated residents will still be required to show proof of vaccination upon entry and must still complete Covid-19 safe check-ins.

Residents who are not fully vaccinated must adhere to the current restrictions until either 15 December or whatever date NSW reaches the 95 per cent goal.

Masks wearing in settings such as supermarkets will remain in place for all until 15 December or 95 per cent vaccination.

New freedoms and restrictions eased as the new roadmap was laid out by the NSW premier. Image: @Dom_Perrottet/Twitter.

Meanwhile, NSW Health has begun rolling out a booster vaccination program in order to maintain high levels of immunisation. The boosters are available at clinics to individuals aged 18 years and over who have had their second vaccine dose at least six months ago.

Perrottet stated that the new roadmap and easing of restrictions was only possible due to the state’s high vaccination rates.

“Everybody has done an incredible job to ensure NSW can ease restrictions in a safe and considered way earlier than we planned,” Perrottet said.

“We are on track to reach 90 per cent 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.”

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The easlier easing of restrictions announced today comes after the state opened up regional travel yesterday.

Deputy Premier Paul Toole has praised residents of regional NSW who were quick to get vaccinated and welcome visitors.

“Regions across NSW answered the call when we asked them to come forward and get vaccinated. Thanks to the community for coming and getting the jab,” 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.”

NSW has eased restrictions on those fully vaccinated last month, with new additions for residents to enjoy in the new roadmap. Photo: MDRX/ Wikimedia Commons, published under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard has encouraged all eligible NSW residents to take up the booster shots and continue the state’s vaccination success.

“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 and we must remain vigilant,” Hazzard said.

“Boosters are a key priority moving forward and we continue to work closely with the Commonwealth on the Covid-19 vaccination rollout.”

Tileah Dobson is the news editor of the Sydney Sentinel.