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NSW path to freedom revealed as 1405 new COVID-19 cases recorded

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The path out of lockdown for those fully vaccinated has been released, while some regional areas will be freed from stay-at-home orders from Saturday.

The New South Wales government has revealed Greater Sydney's path out of lockdown for those who are fully vaccinated, with some regional areas to be released from stay-at-home orders from Saturday.

Stay-at-home orders for adults who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be lifted from the Monday after NSW passes the 70 per cent double vaccination target, under the roadmap to freedom released today.

Only fully vaccinated people and those with medical exemptions will have access to the freedoms, while workers at re-opened venues will need to be vaccinated.

The announcement comes as the state recorded 1405 new cases and five additional deaths in the last 24 hours.

EXPLAINED: Everything you need to know about the NSW restrictions easing

LIVE UPDATES: Morrison government accused of turning back on Pfizer in June 2020

Here's a quick summary on the freedoms for fully vaccinated people once NSW reaches the 70 per cent double-dose milestone:

 Gatherings in the home and public spaces:

Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms:

Stadiums, theatres and major outdoor recreation facilities:

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Weddings, funerals and places of worship:


Path out does not mean lockdown off table

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said cases were expected to peak in the next week, and that NSW was not "out of the woods" yet. 

Just over 107,000 people were vaccinated yesterday, which Ms Berejiklian said was a slight decline. 

Ms Berejiklian has warned that even as NSW moves to greater freedoms, there could still be lockdowns. 

"People at 70 per cent double dose will have freedoms but if there is a surge or unexpected things arise, the government will give advice that people in particular areas or towns may need to restrict their movements in the local government area as opposed to going all over the state," she said. 

She also said the roadmap back to normal was not contingent on dates, but on vaccination levels at 70 per cent and 80 per cent. 

READ MORE: International COVID-19 vaccine passports to be issued next month

Despite vaccines becoming available to children over 12, Ms Berejiklian has confirmed that the 70 per cent and 80 per cent milestones would only count people aged over 16. 

Ms Berejiklian has said that the rules around home visits would come down to "personal decisions". 

The Premier said it would be "extremely careless and reckless" for vaccinated adults to mingle with unvaccinated adults. 

Parts of regional NSW to come out of lockdown

Ms Berejiklian has confirmed parts of regional NSW will be coming out of lockdown on Saturday. 

"Obviously those parts of NSW that come out of lock down on Saturday will still have restrictions placed on them to make sure we limit the spread of disease in our regional communities," she said. 

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Deputy Premier John Barilaro has revealed what areas of NSW will open up. 

The Mid North Coast, the North Coast, the North West, Albury, Riverina and Murrumbidgee areas are set to exit lockdown. 

However, the South East, the Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Hunter, Central Coast, Central West and parts of the far west will stay in lockdown. 

"For the areas coming out of lockdown, you are not coming back to a pre-lockdown environment," he said.  

"There will be capacity limits for our hotels, cafes and restaurants, including the four square metre rule, mask wearing, social distancing.  

"There are rules around certain activities that won't recommence. Community sport won't be permitted yet.  

"The opportunity is to get back to retail shopping, back to work, back to enjoying time with family and friends.  

"It is still a restricted environment." 

Mr Barilaro said communities that recorded even one new local COVID-19 case would return to lockdown for a minimum of 14 days. 

Workers at reopened venues must be vaccinated

Dr Kerry Chant has confirmed that workers as well as customers in re-opened venues at 70 percent vaccination will need to have receive the jab. 

"The workplace will have some system of checking that," she said. 

Dr Chant said a return to listing exposure sites might also be on the cards. 

"We will be looking at what contact tracing looks like in the new world order," she said.  

"Yes, it will be pubs and clubs and other things if we have a positive case there.  

"Our response may be different if we know that people are fully vaccinated. So, we're working through a number of those issues." 

Support to remain in place for businesses

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has confirmed that businesses would continue to receive support as the state re-opened. 

"We are conscious of the fact that as we ease restrictions, many businesses will still have impediments to their work," he said.  

"We will be providing support and reflecting on that.  

"We just recently waived payroll tax for this financial quarter for all businesses with a payroll of less than $10 million. That will provide extra cashflow for those businesses.  

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"We have also deferred all payroll tax liabilities for this quarter as well. Those remain in place.  

"In addition to that, the JobSaver program remains in place which is the joint Federal-State funding arrangement for businesses, for as long as hotspot declarations are made." 

COVID-19 cases 'flattening' in some LGAs of concern

Dr Chant said that in some of the LGAs of concern, there were "some glimmers" of the COVID-19 curve flattening. 

"Now, as an epidemiologist, I do not want to call it too early," she said. 

"But I just want to give some hope that if you continue to stick the course, we may well see declining case numbers in some of those areas, as we see vaccination rates climb." 

Publican concerned about lockdown release unknowns

Sydney publican and former federal MP Craig Laundy earlier said the hospitality industry faces major "unknowns" under the NSW Government's reopening plan.

Mr Laundy told Today that the industry would be initially working under the vaccine passport system but there were still major details to work through.

"If we do have a case, given there won't be another shutdown what does it mean?" he said.

"Do we close and clean and reopen? Is that potentially where these rapid antigen tests could be applied to the staff that were on when the case was recorded?"

"Because I can't afford to have my staff going into lockdown for two weeks, if they are a close contact."

READ MORE: Crisis cabinet meets to discuss Sydney's lockdown

Craig Laundy told Today he's having trouble finding staff to fill shifts.

Mr Laundy also said many hospitality workers were younger people and among the last to be vaccinated, adding extra concerns.

"As a result, we are scrambling already to get the right levels of staff to open.

"If we then have a case walk through any of our pubs and the staff have to lockdown for two weeks we effectively would have to close again. These are the things that we're in active discussion."

READ MORE: 'Personal decisions' to regulate home visits in NSW

Source: 9News

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