The Australian state of New South Wales has given freedom back to most of its citizens as of midnight 11 October following more than 100 days of strict lockdowns that saw millions of people trapped in their suburbs.
The freedoms, afforded at this point to the double-vaccinated, were promised as part of a re-opening plan which would take effect once the milestone of 70 per cent double-dose vaccination had been achieved.
At a minute past midnight thousands of Sydney-siders took advantage of their new found freedom and visited pubs and retails outlets that decided to open at the unusual hour as a gesture to welcome a return to ..almost normality.
As of today, a few million people will be returning to work whilst family and friends can reunited after nearly four months.
December 1 will see the state open completely and all previous freedoms restored for every citizens regardless of vaccination status.
The population of New South Wales is approximately 8 million.
The total vaccinations administered in NSW to date stands at 10,823,193.
The list of freedoms as per the NSW Government announcement for the fully vaccinated are as follows:
- Masks required for all staff and customers in all indoor settings including on public transport, planes and in airports (except children under the age of 12).
- Masks no longer required in outdoor settings (except for front-of-house hospitality staff).
- COVID Safe check-ins and proof of vaccination required for staff and customers.
- Up to 10 visitors allowed in your home at any one time (visitor limits don’t apply for children under the age of 12).
- Small outdoor gatherings and recreation permitted with up to 30 people (2-person limit for people who are not fully vaccinated).
- Visitors to residents in aged care facilities and disability homes permitted in line with their policies.
- Gyms, indoor recreation and sporting facilities reopen with density limits and up to 20 people in classes.
- No distance limits apply for exercise or recreation.
- Indoor swimming pools open for lessons, training and rehab activities.
- Community sports not permitted.
- Schools reopen with Level 3 COVID-19 safety measures (visit Department of Education NSW).
- Non-critical retail reopens with density limits (people who are not fully vaccinated can only access non-critical retail via Click & Collect).
- Personal services (including hairdressers, spas, beauty and nail salons, tattoo and massage parlours) reopen with density limits for up to 5 clients.
- Hospitality reopens with density limit for up to 20 people per booking (takeaway only for people who are not fully vaccinated).
- No singing indoors (except for performers).
- Drinking indoors must be seated, but drinking outdoors may be seated or standing.
- Dancing permitted outdoors, dancing indoors not permitted (except at weddings).
- Employers allow staff to continue to work from home, if reasonably practicable.
- Employers require staff who are not fully vaccinated to work from home, if reasonably practicable.
- Major recreation facilities (including stadiums, theme parks, and race courses) reopen with density limits for up to 5000 people, or by exemption.
- Entertainment facilities (including cinemas and theatres) reopen with the greater of the density limit or 75% fixed seated capacity.
- Information and education facilities (including art galleries, museums and libraries) reopen with density limits.
- Ticketed and seated outdoor public gatherings permitted for up to 500 people with density limit.
- Amusement centres and nightclubs remain closed.
- Weddings ceremonies permitted with density limit for up to 100 people (5-person limit for people who are not fully vaccinated).
- Wedding receptions permitted with density limit for up to 100 people (not permitted for people who are not fully vaccinated), eating and drinking must be seated, and dancing is permitted.
- Funerals permitted with density limit for up to 100 people (10-person limit for people who are not fully vaccinated) and eating and drinking must be seated.
- Places of worship reopen with density limit.
- Up to 10 fully vaccinated singers may perform in places of worship and at religious services.
- Restricted travel within LGAs and 5km radius removed.
- Travel for holidays and recreational visits including day trips between Greater Sydney (including Central Coast, Wollongong, Shellharbour and Blue Mountains) and regional NSW not permitted.
- Travel holidays between regional local government areas are permitted.
- Carpooling permitted (members of your household only for people who are not fully vaccinated).
- Caravan parks and camping grounds reopen (including for people who are not fully vaccinated).