The NSW Government has revealed what the next stage of reopening will look like. The changes will be triggered once we hit 95 per cent double-vaccinated, or on December 15 – whichever comes first. More than 92 per cent of eligible people over 16 have received two doses.
Once we hit that milestone masks will only be required in limited settings: on public transport and planes, at airports and for front-of-house hospitality staff who are working indoors and aren’t double-vaxxed. And while masks will no longer be mandatory in other situations, such as in supermarkets and retail stores, they are still “strongly encouraged” when you’re unable to socially distance.
Density limits will also be entirely scrapped, and Covid safety plans will become optional for businesses. As for QR check-ins, they’ll only be necessary in what the government calls “high-risk venues”: hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, gyms, places of worship, funerals and memorial services, personal-care services such as hairdressers and beauty salons; “limited hospitality settings”, including pubs, small bars and clubs; and at indoor music festivals with more than 1000 people. On that, while music festivals are currently prohibited, the next stage of reopening will allow them to return with audiences of up to 20,000.
Proof of vaccination will no longer be required for most activities, apart from attending indoor music festivals with more than 1000 people and to embark on a cruise with more than 100 passengers. Businesses can still deny entry at their own discretion.
“We’re leading the world when it comes to vaccinations and that is a tremendous achievement we can all be proud of because it has allowed us to return to normal as quickly and safely as possible,” said NSW premier Dominic Perrottet in a statement.
“The easing of these restrictions will allow people to get out and enjoy summer providing a boost for some of our hardest industries as we do everything we can to ensure we keep people safe as we learn to live with Covid.”
Stay up to date with NSW’s Covid-19 road map here.