Major changes are coming to NSW just in time for Christmas, with masks, QR codes and vaccine passports to be scrapped in many settings.

But the state government has warned residents that the restrictions, including lockdowns, could return if COVID-19 cases start to surge.

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Premier Dominic Perrottet on Thursday confirmed a raft of rules will be eased from December 15, or when the state hits the 95 per cent double-dose vaccination target, whichever comes first.

Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced that mask rules will change next month.
Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced that mask rules will change next month. Credit: AAP

Density limits will be scrapped at all venues, check-ins will only be required at high-risk venues and masks will only have to be worn on public transport and at airports.

Front-of-house hospitality staff working indoors who are not fully vaccinated must also continue to wear masks.

The eased restrictions also means residents will no longer have to provide proof of their vaccination status, allowing unvaccinated people the same freedoms as everyone else.

Rules around QR codes will change.
Rules around QR codes will change. Credit: AAP

Tourism and Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres told Sunrise he “expects cases to increase” as a result of the eased restrictions, and warned COVID rules could return at any time.

“We want to be able to turn on that QR code system in the future if we need it,” he said on Friday.

“So, take it away when it’s not required and put it on when it is.

“We’ve always said if things look like they may get out of control then we can take those actions quickly.”

Ayres said that “targeted lockdowns” also remain on the table.

“This is about making sure we take targeted action rather than locking down the entire state.”

NSW to scrap almost all COVID-19 rules in time for Christmas – but there’s a catch
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