NSW residents who choose to remain unvaccinated will have to wait until December to enjoy some freedoms.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed the state’s roadmap beyond 80 per cent double-dose vaccination coverage on Monday – and the corresponding freedoms for fully vaccinated residents.
From the Monday after NSW reaches 80 per cent vaccination coverage, fully vaccinated residents will be able to enjoy things like home gatherings, community sport and access to hospitality venues with smaller density limits.
On December 1, unvaccinated people will be able to reintegrate with society. But even then – Berejiklian says businesses can still refuse entry or service.
“If you are not vaccinated you will have to wait at least four or five weeks after we’ve already hit the 80 per cent double dose rate in order to participate in things that the rest of us can participate in,” she told reporters on Monday.
“We anticipate, fingers crossed, by the time that third stage of reopening in December, we anticipate (we will have) 92 per cent, 93 per cent of our adult population completely vaccinated.
“The message is if you want to be able to have a meal with friends and welcome people in your home you have to get vaccinated, that is a simple message.
“If you don’t and you choose not to, that is OK. But you will have to wait a long time before you can participate in other activities.”
Berejiklian said the state was taking a “very conservative approach” to avoid overwhelming the hospital system.
“There will be people who feel strongly about these matters, but our responsibility as a government is to keep the community safe,” she added.
From December 1, there will be no limit on the number of visitors to a home, retail stores and hospitality venues can operate at one person per two square metres, and domestic travel can resume.
But the premier said, “it will really be up to the businesses to what decisions they take”.
More than 85 per cent of people over 16 have had at least one vaccine dose, while around 60 per cent are fully vaccinated.
When asked whether the announcement could be viewed as an opportunity for residents who are “on the fence” to enjoy freedoms over Christmas and New Year, the premier said she thinks it’s a “very disappointing day” for unvaccinated residents.
“I think they assumed that once we hit 80 per cent double dose that they would have certain freedoms,” Berejiklian said.
“They will have to wait at least five or six weeks after we hit 80 per cent double dose to be able to enjoy those things others enjoy.
“I’m optimistic that by the time we get to December 1 we will have over 90 per cent of our adult population double dosed plus a huge cohort of out 12 to 15-year-olds.”
But Berejiklian said, “it is not too late”.
“You have the option, go today, make your booking and get vaccinated not only to protect yourself and your loved ones but also the community.”
On December 1, the following settings will apply to all NSW citizens, regardless of their vaccination status:
Gatherings in the home and outdoor public spaces
- No limit on the number of visitors to a home
- Density will shift to one person per 2 sqm for indoor and outdoor settings
- No limit on the number of people who can attend informal outdoor gatherings
- COVID Safe plan required for outdoor events with more than 1,000 people
- Community sport is permitted for all people.
Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms
- Retail stores can operate at one person per 2 sqm
- Personal services such as hairdressers, spa, nail, beauty, waxing, tattoo and massage can operate with one person per 2 sqm
- Hospitality venues can operate with one person per 2 sqm inside and outside, with no seating required for eating and drinking
- Gyms and indoor recreation facilities, including indoor pools, can operate with one person per 2 sqm (uncapped)
- Intimate services can open with one person per 4 sqm
Major outdoor recreation facilities
- Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can operate with one person per 2 sqm.
Entertainment, information and education facilities
- Entertainment facilities (including cinemas, theatres, music halls) can operate with one person per 2 sqm
- Information and education facilities (including libraries, museums and galleries) can operate with one person per 2 sqm
- Amusement centres and nightclubs can open with one person per 4 sqm.
Working from home
- Working from home will be at the employer’s discretion.
- All year groups return to face-to-face learning.
Weddings, funerals and places of worship
- One person per 2 sqm for weddings with dancing permitted and eating and drinking allowed while standing
- One person per 2 sqm for funerals
- Churches and places of worship can operate with one person per 2 sqm, with singing permitted.
- Domestic travel, including trips between Greater Sydney and Regional NSW
- Caravan parks and camping grounds can operate
- Carpooling is permitted
- Quarantine settings for vaccinated arrivals will be altered. A cap on unvaccinated travellers may remain.
- Masks wearing will be mandatory while travelling on public transport, on planes and at airports, and for front-of-house hospitality workers
- Mask wearing is not required when outdoors.