‘Freedom’ on the horizon

Stay-at-home orders for adults who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be lifted from the Monday after the state passes the 70 per cent double vaccination target, as reported by the NSW Government last week.

The Government said only fully vaccinated people and those with medical exemptions will have access to the freedoms allowed under the roadmap which features details on gatherings, retail and hospitality venues, gyms, personal services and theatres.

The state is expected to pass the 70 per cent double vaccination target in mid-October.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, said he welcomed the details outlined in the state-wide plan.

“It’s fantastic to have this roadmap provided as a clear pathway out of lockdowns and back to freedom,” Crouch said.

“The roadmap makes it clear just how important it is to get vaccinated, because if you are not fully vaccinated by the time 70 per cent of people in NSW are fully vaccinated, you will not be able to participate in these freedoms.

“On the Central Coast, we must race to get everyone fully vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

Under the current roadmap, fully vaccinated adults (over 16) and children will be able to attend a variety of venues and services.

• Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home where all adults are vaccinated (not including children 12 and under) and up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings.

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

• Retail stores can reopen under the one 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 one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.

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

• Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.

• Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4sqm, capped at 5,000 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 one person per 4sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.

• Up to 50 guests can attend weddings, with dancing permitted and eating and drinking only while seated.

• Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking while seated.

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

Domestic travel, including trips to regional NSW will also be permitted, with caravan parks, camping grounds and carpooling to also be allowed.

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

Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors and children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors.

The NSW Government said 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, and that they had worked with Industry to design the plan.

Under the roadmap, employers must continue to allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so.

Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, said that whilst some certainty was welcomed for the region, more information needed to be clarified.

“The roadmap back into normal life has more potholes than some of our local roads,” she said.

“Local businesses are very concerned about so many of the uncertainties and lack of leadership by the NSW government, especially around vaccination information and responsibility, ongoing financial support in order to pay the bills and fees in a continued lockdown.

“There are also concerns over the need for ongoing support if the Central Coast opens up independent of Sydney.”

When the state hits the 80 percent double dose target, the NSW Government said they intend to open up further freedoms around international travel, community sport, major events and other areas.

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

The roadmap is subject to further fine-tuning and health advice if circumstances change drastically or if cases within a designated area remain too high.

Maisy Rae

1 Comment on "‘Freedom’ on the horizon"

  1. Liesal tesch is correct it has only been the last week on the coast that people are taking the virus seriously. Adam crouch has obviously no idea

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