New freedoms not for all - restrictions on unvaccinated

Fully vaccinated people can hold outdoor gatherings of up to 20 people, while those freedoms will not be shared by unvaccinated residents.
Fully vaccinated people can hold outdoor gatherings of up to 20 people, while those freedoms will not be shared by unvaccinated residents.

The initial stage of NSW's three-step roadmap to reopening will involve a unification of the rules across all of NSW from October 11.

While this means increased freedoms for a majority of people, it does means people unvaccinated against COVID-19 will actually have restrictions imposed on them again until the state fully opens on December 1.

For those areas around NSW that have been out of lockdown conditions there will still be more additional freedoms from next week. However, unvaccinated people will effectively be put back into lockdown.

The changes will restrict movement of unvaccinated people, who when not in the recent lockdowns have had the same freedoms as everyone else.

That means from Monday the unvaccinated can no longer go to the pub or club, or sit down for a meal at a restaurant, until they've received both doses of a vaccine, or until the December 1 end to restrictions. The NSW Government roadmap states "those who are not vaccinated can only access hospitality settings for takeaway".

Some of the major changes include access to retail, gatherings and home visitors.

Visitors will be allowed with up to five guests in the home - with kids under 12 not included in the cap - expanding to 10 people at the 80 per cent double dose threshold.

Outdoor gatherings can number up to 20 for fully vaccinated participants.

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However, unvaccinated people may not have visitors at home and may only gather with one other person for exercise or recreation or their nominated person within the 'singles bubble'.

All shops will be able to open adhering to social distancing measures, but unvaccinated people will be restricted to the essentials and only have 'click-and-collect' access to non-critical retail.

Below are some of the changes taking place from October 11, with NSW Health indicating that "Only fully vaccinated people and those with medical exemptions will have access to the freedoms allowed under the Reopening NSW roadmap".

Gatherings in the home and public spaces:

Up to 5 visitors will be allowed in a home where all adults are vaccinated (not including children 12 and under).

Up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings.

Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms:

Hospitality venues can reopen subject to 1 person per 4sqm inside and 1 person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.

Retail stores can reopen under the 1 person per 4sqm rule (unvaccinated people will continue to only be able to access critical retail).

Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with 1 person per 4sqm, capped at 5 clients per premises.

Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the 1 person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.

Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.

Stadiums, theatres and major outdoor recreation facilities:

Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with 1 person per 4sqm, capped at 5000 people.

Up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated outdoor events.

Indoor entertainment and information facilities including cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries can reopen with 1 person per 4sqm or 75% fixed seated capacity.

Weddings, funerals and places of worship:

Up to 50 guests can attend weddings, with dancing permitted and eating and drinking only while seated. Unvaccinated people may only attend weddings with up to 5 guests (and no reception).

Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking while seated. Unvaccinated people may only attend funerals with a maximum of 10 people.

Churches and places of worship to open subject to 1 person per 4sqm rule, with no singing.

Travel:

Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.

Carpooling will be permitted. Those who are unvaccinated may only carpool with people from their own household.

Non-vaccinated young people aged under 16 will be able to access all outdoor settings but will only be able to visit indoor venues with members of their household.

Employers must continue to allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so.

There will be revised guidance on isolation for close and casual contacts who are fully vaccinated, with details to be provided closer to the reopening date.

Masks:

Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports.

Hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors.

Children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors.

Roadmap relief

Newly installed Premier Dominic Perrottet said the easing of restrictions would come as a huge relief to struggling businesses and workers, who just want to get their lives back on track, safely.

"This roadmap gives us the light at the end of the tunnel we all want and will enable our economy to start firing again, driving our state back to prosperity," Mr Perrottet said while in his previous role as treasurer.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the government will continue to be guided by health advice, and may still require targeted restrictions to deal with outbreaks.

"As we work toward reopening NSW, it is vital people continue to come forward and get vaccinated to help protect the community and reduce transmission of the virus," Mr Hazzard.

When NSW hits the 80 per cent double dose target, the government intends to open up further freedoms around international travel, community sport, major events and other areas.

If you are not booked in for a COVID-19 vaccine, please book an appointment as soon possible.

For the latest information visit the COVID-19 pages on nsw.gov.au.

This story New freedoms not for all - restrictions tighten for some unvaccinated first appeared on Bega District News.