Premier Gladys Berejiklian stopped short of calling it Freedom Day but after 16 weeks of stay-at-home orders on the Central Coast that’s exactly what it will be on October 11 when lockdown will end in NSW.
It’s the first time we’ve been given a solid date when the Premier announced NSW’s tree-stage reopening plan on Monday, which now sets a clear path out of the pandemic and lockdowns.
“We have officially passed the 85 per cent first dose vaccination in NSW which is just outstanding … and the double dose is now confirmed at 60 per cent,” the Premier said at her Monday press conference.
“Forty per cent of 12- to 15-year-olds have received their first dose,” she said.
On the Central Coast vaccination rates are 86.3 per cent first dose and 58 per cent fully vaccinated.
The NSW Government’s 70 per cent roadmap lifts fully vaccinated people out of lockdown on October 11 and when the vaccinated rate reaches 80 per cent restrictions will ease even further, however, those who are not immunised won’t come out of lockdown until December 1.
Given updated health advice, regional travel has been delayed until the 80 per cent target is met, however only for the fully vaccinated.
Parliamentary Secretary for Central Coast, Adam Crouch, confirmed that when lockdown ends on October 11 Central Coast residents would not be able to freely travel to other parts of regional NSW.
“This is because the Coast’s daily COVID case numbers are consistently too high,” he said.
“Our region is recording about 30 new COVID cases per day which is even higher than most local government areas across Sydney.
“Clearly, we are not out of the woods.
“NSW Health has identified the growing COVID case numbers on the Central Coast and in the Illawarra as two of the most concerning areas in the state.
“If our case numbers decline and if vaccination rates continue to rise between now and October 11, I will absolutely advocate for this Health decision to be reconsidered.
“There are currently 38,000 unvaccinated people on the Central Coast and I am urging these people to book an appointment as quickly as possible,” Crouch said.
Latest vaccination figures from the Primary Health Network show that more than 70 percent of vaccinations in our region are occurring at GPs.
The weekly allocation of Pfizer doses to Wyong and Gosford hospitals has been increased and the rollout of the Moderna vaccine started this week and are available at 40 pharmacies across the Coast.
“Vaccination remains our ticket to freedom so we need to work even harder to get jabs in arms, to help stop the spread, minimise outbreaks and ensure people are protected when we open up,” the Premier said.
When that 80 per cent vaccination target is reached restrictions will be further eased to allow those who are fully vaccinated to have up to 10 people visit their home, community sport will resume, no customer cap for personal services such as hairdressers, no limit on people at funerals and weddings and cinemas, theatres, music halls can reopen.
Hospitality venues, retail stores, gyms and entertainment facilities will have to abide by the one person per 4sqm rule indoors, and one person per 2sqm outdoors.
Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor premises, except children under 12.
From December 1, when the Premier believes vaccination will hit 90 per cent, unvaccinated people will be given more freedoms to participate in everyday life and the one person per 2sqm rule will apply for all venues, no masks will be required, indoor pools and nightclubs will reopen.