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NSW moves up the date to ease restrictions for the vaccinated after higher-than-expected vaccine rate

Image credit: Spencer Davis

NSW moves up the date to ease restrictions for the vaccinated after a higher-than-expected vaccine rate

Businesses in New South Wales (NSW) will be allowed to welcome more fully vaccinated customers beginning November 8, with all venues moving to a one-person-per-two-square-meter rule, and nightclubs able to reopen dancefloors. 

In addition, there will be no limit on the number of visitors to a home, no rules for outdoor gatherings of less than 1,000 people, and indoor swimming pools will reopen for all purposes. 

Initially, the government intended to ease restrictions for those who are completely vaccinated on December 1, 2021. The move comes after NSW experienced a higher-than-expected rate of vaccination.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said bringing forward the easing of restrictions was only possible because of the State’s high vaccination 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,” Mr Perrottet 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. 

“There is still a long way to go but the NSW Government is standing with the community and continuing to do everything that we can, including booster shots, to keep people safe as we open up.” 

Aside from these changes, caps will be eliminated for settings other than gyms and dance classes (where the 20-person class cap will remain) and replaced by density limits or 100 per cent fixed seated capacity for major recreation outdoor facilities (including stadiums, racetracks, theme parks, and zoos) and entertainment facilities (including cinemas and theatres).

Longer wait for the unvaccinated

In a major setback for the unvaccinated, the ease of restriction for the unvaccinated has been pushed back. Those who are not fully vaccinated will have to wait until the state hits its 95 per cent double vaccination target, which is estimated to be around December 15. 

They were previously promised they would be under the same rules as the rest of the population at the beginning of December. 

To maintain high levels of immunity across the community, NSW Health has further commenced rolling out a booster vaccination program in clinics to individuals aged 18 and older who received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine six months or more ago. 

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism, and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said reaching the 90 per cent 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,” Mr Ayres said. 

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said NSW has amongst the most vaccinated populations in the world and rolling out booster shots would continue to maintain that advantage. 

“We are amongst the best in the world when it comes to vaccinations but we cannot forget that COVID will continue to circulate in the community and we must remain vigilant,” Mr Hazzard said. 

“Boosters are a key priority moving forward and we continue to work closely with the Commonwealth on the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. I want to encourage anyone who is yet to be vaccinated to make a booking as soon as possible.”

Previously, the NSW government announced that fully vaccinated residents can travel for holidays and recreation between Greater Sydney and regional NSW, that bookings for hospitality venues are no longer capped, and that fully vaccinated international travellers can enter NSW without quarantine, subject to Commonwealth border restrictions.

Quarantine requirements and caps for international visitors who have been fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved vaccine have also been lifted. Fully vaccinated travellers who are already in quarantine will complete their quarantine requirements on November 1, even if they have been there for fewer than 14 days. 

Overseas travellers who are not completely vaccinated must undergo a 14-day hotel quarantine, and the weekly cap will remain at 210 people.

NSW registered 173 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, ending November 1, 2021.

Meanwhile, 7,665 Vaccine doses were administered by NSW during the same time.

Here’s more information about the 90 per cent easing of restrictions at nsw.gov.au.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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