NSW Premier has said that ‘Parts of regional NSW will come out of lockdown on Saturday.’
Restrictions will be lifted in some areas at 12:01am Saturday, 11 September. There will still have restrictions in place to limit transmission.
None-the-less Dr Kerry Chant said there have been 1,405 community transmissions and six deaths in the last 24 hours to 8pm last night.
Out of lockdown
‘We have launched the road map,’ said NSW Deputy Premier John Barilario.
‘The Mid North Coast and the North Coast and North West will come out of lockdown,’ he said.
‘These are based on active cases in the community for those areas that are coming out of lockdown. There will still be capacity limits, the four square rule… community sport won’t be permitted. But we can get back to retail shopping and work.
‘For all those communities that are coming out of lockdown today… if there is an active case in your community you will go back into lockdown for at least 14 days. It is possible that you could go back into lockdown before Saturday,’ he said.
‘Please don’t take your foot off the accelerator to get vaccinated. Ultimately, the passport to freedom is vaccination.’
Premier Berejiklian made it clear that as 70 per cent vaccination is reached and the restrictions are lifted the ‘70 per cent vaccination will allow you to move anywhere in the state. But if there is a concern about an outbreak in a particular town we will advise that people don’t go there,’ she explained.
‘People in the LGA (local government area), at 70 per cent vaccination, will be allowed to move around the LGA. These freedoms are for people who are double-dosed.
Ballina MP Tamara Smith told The Echo that ‘We are all relieved that logic has prevailed and that we are coming out of lockdown on the weekend. With no cases of covid in our community it has been very hard to understand the rationale in shutting down regional areas just as a precaution.
‘Of course we understand that if there are active cases in the community we need protective measures, but closing communities, smashing regional economies, preventing children from going to school and curtailing people’s social and family networks are harsh measures in areas where nobody has COVID-19.
‘I am very concerned that the Lib/Nats are linking greater freedoms coming out of lockdown to vaccination when accessing vaccines is still an issue for regional communities.
‘We are starting to see politics and not health advice creep into the decisions being made in Macquarie Street. It has come to light that the curfew that was imposed on people living in western Sydney was for optics rather than public health reasons. That is why we need parliament to resume as soon as possible so that public accountability and public scrutiny are returned.’
Tweed Shire Mayor Chris Cherry has said that this is ‘Incredible news for the region to come out of lockdown. So many people have worked together to get this.
‘Now we need all our energy focussed on getting the restrictions lifted on the Queensland border so that ALL of our people and businesses can get back to work, school and their families.’
What you can do
The following freedoms will be available to all people in regional LGAs where stay-at-home orders have lifted:
Gatherings in the home and public spaces:
- Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home (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.
- 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.
- Schools will re-open with Level 3 COVIDSafe measures in place.
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.
- Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.
- Carpooling will be permitted.
- 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.