New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on 27 September that lockdown restrictions would start easing on 11 October. And by 1 December, it’s hoped that everyone in New South Wales will be living a near-normal life.
The revised Covid rules for NSW for health and everyday living are welcome news for residents, eager to resume their “pre-Covid” lives.
Let’s take a closer look at the latest Covid rules for NSW and understand how the three stages of opening will develop. We’ll also offer some tips on staying safe as we head towards a brighter future.
What are the three stages for reopening?
The three stages are part of the roadmap to reopen Greater Sydney and other areas in NSW that remain under stay-at-home orders.
They are as follows:
- Stage One: effective when vaccination reaches 70%
- Stage Two: effective when vaccination reaches 80%
- Stage Three: reopening on 1 December
Only people who are fully vaccinated will be able to take advantage of the new freedoms for stages one and two.
But from 1 December, unvaccinated NSW residents will enjoy the same freedoms.
What will change in Stage One?
On the Monday after NSW hits the 70% target, adults who have had both doses of their Covid-19 vaccine will be free from stay-at-home orders. This is predicted to happen around Monday, 11 October.
These are some of the new rules for fully vaccinated people:
- Visit other people in their homes, up to a limit of five visitors. For this to happen, all adults in the household must be fully vaccinated. Children under 12 will not be counted towards the limit of five.
- Up to 20 people will be able to gather outdoors.
- Hospitality venues like cafes, restaurants and pubs will be able to reopen under the “one person per four square metres” rule for indoors and “one person per two square metres” outdoors.
- Up to 50 guests will be able to attend weddings and the same number for funerals.
Proof of vaccination will be available on the Services NSW app, which will be used to check into venues.
What about Stage Two?
Once vaccination hits the 80% target, double-vaccinated adults can enjoy these new rules, among others:
- Up to 10 visitors can meet inside a home (not including children aged 12 and under).
- Up to 200 participants can attend Covid-safe events.
- Up to 500 participants can attend ticketed and seated events.
- Community sport can be resumed.
And Stage Three?
Stage Three will apply from 1 December. The new rules apply to all NSW residents, whether they are vaccinated or not.
- No limit on how many people can visit a home.
- No limit on the amount of people who can take part in informal outdoor gatherings.
- Big outdoor recreation facilities such as stadiums, zoos and theme parks can operate with one person per two square metres.
- For education, all year groups can get back to face-to-face learning.
- You must still wear a mask while using public transport, on planes and at airports, and if you are a front-of-house hospitality worker.
Where can I find out more?
We’ve described just some of the many changes taking place over the coming weeks and months.
You can read more about all the rules on the NSW Gov website.
How can I stay safe?
We all have a duty to stay safe while we enjoy our newfound freedom. These simple measures can help protect everyone:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- If you don’t have soap and water available, you can use sanitiser spray or gel. Keep a sanitiser dispenser somewhere all the family can reach, like the kitchen counter.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth.
- Clean and sanitise objects that you touch a lot, such as door handles, phones and keyboards.
- Get everyone in your family to wear face masks according to the rules. They will protect you and others from possible infection.
- If you need to cough or sneeze, do it into your bent elbow, not into your hands.
- Try to limit the time you spend in crowded places.
- Know the symptoms of Covid-19. Look out for signs such as a constant cough, a change in your sense of taste or smell or a high temperature. If you are concerned, use a reliable thermometer using infrared technology for an accurate reading.
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