The NSW government has announced a suite of updates to its COVID-19 roadmap, with the lifting of restrictions for fully vaccinated residents fast-tracked by three weeks.
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Initially slated to come into effect on December 1, restrictions on entertainment venues (including those specialising in live music) will now be eased from next Monday (October 8), with most venues moving to a density quotient of one person per two square metres.
Venues with fixed seating capacities, including cinemas and theatres, will be able to return to 100 per cent.
Rules on dancing will also be scrapped for all venues, including nightclubs (which were previously open solely for seated drinking).
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced the new plans in a press conference this morning (November 2), saying the state had reached its vaccination targets sooner than expected – per the ABC, 93.6 per cent of NSW residents aged 16 and over have been given their first dose, with 87.8 per cent fully vaccinated.
“Everybody has done an incredible job to ensure NSW can ease restrictions in a safe and considered way earlier than we planned,” Perrottet said.
Although the easing of restrictions for vaccinated citizens has been bumped up, those yet to be vaccinated will have to wait an additional two weeks for their freedoms to return. Restrictions for that minority will remain in place until December 15, with Perrottet noting the decision was made out of concern for vaccinated people’s safety.
“Ultimately we want a united society and we believe by moving that date back to December 15 will incentivise [people to get vaccinated],” he said. “We are hopeful that we can get that rate up.”