The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) announced on Tuesday it will give back freedoms sooner to fully vaccinated people while postponing the same freedoms to those who are unvaccinated.
The COVIDSafe roadmap freedoms, which were scheduled to end on Dec.1, have now been brought forward to Nov.8 for those who have got two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, the premier said unvaccinated people will still be subject to restrictions until the state reaches the 95 percent double vaccination target, or Dec. 15, whichever happens first. According to the original plan, unvaccinated residents of the state were promised the same freedoms from Dec.1.
This means that from Nov.8, for those who have received two shots of the vaccine, there will be no limit on visitors to a home, no rules for outdoor gatherings with fewer than 1,000 people, and indoor swimming pools will re-open for all purposes.
Businesses will be able to welcome in more fully vaccinated customers with all premises to move to 1 person per 2 sqm rule, and nightclubs will be able to re-open dancefloors.
Caps will also be removed for settings other than gym and dance classes (where the 20-person cap for classes will remain) and replaced by density limits or 100 per cent fixed seated capacity for major recreation outdoor facilities (including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos) and entertainment facilities (including cinemas and theatres).
The above freedoms will only be limited to fully vaccinated people, as well as those who have medical exemptions and children under the age of 16.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said that easing restrictions was only possible because of the state’s high vaccinations rates and the rollout of booster shots.
“Everybody has done an incredible job to ensure NSW can ease restrictions in a safe and considered way earlier than we planned,” he said.
“We are on track to reach 90 per cent double vaccination weeks ahead of schedule and this is a testament to everybody across NSW and especially our health workers.”
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said reaching the 90 percent target will be a significant milestone in the state’s recovery.
“We are inching closer and closer to returning to many of our pre-pandemic activities, and this latest easing of restrictions will be welcome news for hundreds of businesses ready to re-open, expand their operations, and welcome back more customers,” he said.