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Covid NSW: Regional holidays may be put on hold until state hits 80 per cent vaccination target

Sydneysiders may have to wait until NSW reaches an 80 per cent Covid vaccination rate to go on holiday into regional parts of the state.

NSW is on track to have fully vaccinated 70 per cent of its adult population by October 11, but the state’s crisis cabinet is reportedly considering waiting on the next immunisation milestone to ease travel restrictions in Greater Sydney.

The state government could wait another two weeks – when vaccination rates in regional areas will be higher – to reopen regional travel, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian is this week set to announce further details about what life will look like in NSW once an 80 per cent coverage rate is reached.

Increasing home visitor limits and allowing higher caps for hospitality are among the other options discussed for the second stage of the state’s reopening plan. 

Sydneysiders may have to put their statewide travel plans to regional towns such as Byron Bay (pictured) on hold until NSW hits 80 per cent vaccination target 

Statewide travel may be paused until a higher 80 per cent vaccination target is met due to low vaccination rates in some regional towns in NSW

Statewide travel may be paused until a higher 80 per cent vaccination target is met due to low vaccination rates in some regional towns in NSW

While October 11 has been pegged as NSW’s ‘Freedom Day’, these liberties will only be available to those who have been fully vaccinated.

However it is expected that non-vaccinated residents will be able to access freedoms by the end of the year. 

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said on Friday he wanted to see NSW opening up to everyone when people had the chance to receive a vaccine, stating vaccinations will be the key to opening up for everyone.  

Premier Gladys Berejiklian added she was looking forward to welcoming Australians from overseas from mid-October.  

‘I would feel very comfortable once we get to that 80 per cent double dose vaccination to have Sydney Airport be the gateway to our nation,’ she said.

The freedoms for 70 and 80 per cent vaccine targets are set to be officially announced next week and are likely to include visitors to homes, community sport and higher caps for hospitality, funerals and weddings

The freedoms for 70 and 80 per cent vaccine targets are set to be officially announced next week and are likely to include visitors to homes, community sport and higher caps for hospitality, funerals and weddings

International students will soon be allowed to return to Australia as long as they have had two doses of a TGA-approved vaccine

International students will soon be allowed to return to Australia as long as they have had two doses of a TGA-approved vaccine

‘If airlines want to put on extra flights to Sydney that would be great, joy, it means more people can come home, and also in an affordable way.’

International students will also be allowed to return to Australia as long as they have had two doses of a TGA-approved vaccine. This will begin with a pilot program of 650 students who will be required to quarantine in facilities in Redfern.           

NSW has recorded 1,007 new Covid-19 cases and 11 deaths with the state government to soon release details of what restrictions will be eased when 80 per cent of residents have been fully vaccinated. 

The state government will formally announce the details next week. They are expected to roll back more restrictions on social gatherings and increase the capacity at sporting events and hospitality venues. 

Wedding cap increases and community sports are among the new freedoms expected to be introduced when NSW reaches its 80 per cent vaccination target (stock image)

Wedding cap increases and community sports are among the new freedoms expected to be introduced when NSW reaches its 80 per cent vaccination target (stock image)

Bosses will also be encouraged to bring their workers back into the office

Bosses will also be encouraged to bring their workers back into the office

Weddings and funerals will be allowed to cater to more guests. Community sports will be resumed and crowd capacity will be increased at major events.

In-person auctions and open home inspections will resume. Bosses will also be encouraged to bring their workers back into the office.  

Of the new deaths, one was a person in their 40s, another in their 50s, two in their 60s, three in their 70s, three in their 80s and one in their 90s.

Nine of the people had not been vaccinated, while two had received only one dose.

Western and south-western Sydney suburbs continue to record the majority of cases.

NSW Health revealed 308 were linked to the South Western Sydney Local Health District, 214 to the Western Sydney LHD and 103 to the Sydney LHD. 

There are currently 1,187 patients being treated in hospital, with 229 people in intensive care, of which 118 are on ventilation. 

NSW Health administered 36,426 vaccines and conducted 108,105 tests in the last 24 hours.  

The changes will add to the freedoms expected to be granted to residents when the state reaches its 70 per cent vaccination target on October 11.

Around 57.8 per cent of over-16s are now fully vaccinated while 84.7 per cent have had at least one dose.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in most of the LGAs of concern, 80 per cent of residents have now had one jab but warned opening up the state would be done cautiously to prevent an influx of cases being hospitalised.

NSW recorded 1,007 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, down from 1,043 reported on Friday

NSW recorded 1,007 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, down from 1,043 reported on Friday

Community sports will be resumed and crowd capacity will be increased at major events

Community sports will be resumed and crowd capacity will be increased at major events

The government’s roadmap to freedom allows the return of pubs, gyms and hair salons with strict density requirements once the 70 per cent target is reached. 

The NSW premier has discouraged people from thinking of the state’s reopening next month as ‘Freedom Day’.

NSW was ‘almost gallop(ing) to the finish line’ of 70 per cent full vaccination among its eligible population, which would trigger the reopening, Gladys Berejiklian said on Friday.

But the government and its citizens must still behave responsibly, she said.

‘I’m always wary of using terms like Freedom Day because when we start to open up it must be step-by-step, it has to be done cautiously,’ Ms Berejiklian told reporters. 

The freedoms to be reinstated once the state reaches the milestone are limited to those who are fully vaccinated.

Those who have not received two jabs will not be able to attend restaurants, shops, pubs and other places that are set to reopen.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has said he does not want a ‘two-tiered society’ in NSW.

The freedoms to be reinstated once the state reaches the milestone are limited to those who are fully vaccinated

The freedoms to be reinstated once the state reaches the milestone are limited to those who are fully vaccinated

Hundreds of beachgoers crowded at Bronte Beach to soak in the sun on Friday

Hundreds of beachgoers crowded at Bronte Beach to soak in the sun on Friday

‘Once every single person in this state has had the opportunity be vaccinated with two doses then we should open up for everyone,’ Mr Perrottet told Sydney radio 2GB on Friday afternoon.

Opposition Leader Chris Minns suggested the comment could undermine public health messaging.

‘It’s really important the NSW government is singing from the same song sheet and continues to encourage people to get vaccinated,’ Mr Minns said. 

Fragments of the virus have also been detected in sewage in samples from Tamworth, in northeast NSW, Dareton and Balranald in Far Western NSW, Oberon in the Central West, Dungog in the Hunter, and Eden on the South Coast. 

No cases have been identified in the area but residents are reminded to remain vigilant of flu-like symptoms and get tested.  

The NSW premier has discouraged people from thinking of the state's reopening next month as 'Freedom Day'

The NSW premier has discouraged people from thinking of the state’s reopening next month as ‘Freedom Day’

Roadmap to freedom: All the changes for fully vaccinated NSW residents after hitting 70% jab target

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian's freedom plan will kick off after the state hits 70 per cent of adults double dosed

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s freedom plan will kick off after the state hits 70 per cent of adults double dosed 

Gatherings in the home and public spaces

· Up to five 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 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.

Stadiums, theatres and major outdoor recreation facilities

· 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.

Weddings, funerals and places of worship

· 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.

Travel

· Domestic travel, including trips to regional NSW, will be permitted.

· Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.

· Carpooling will be permitted.

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.

· Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors.

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

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