New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has outlined what freedom will look like at the 80 percent double-dose vaccination target, as the state follows a three-stage roadmap to reopening and recovery.
Having just reached the 60.4 percent mark for double-dose vaccinations, NSW is expected to hit its target of 70 percent fully vaccinated on 11 October and 80 percent a fortnight thereafter, on 25 October.
For the business events industry, the 80 percent milestone will allow up to 200 people to attend COVID-Safe events, and up to 500 people to attend controlled (ticketed and seated) events.
All hospitality venues, major outdoor venues, entertainment venues, and educational facilities such as libraries, galleries and museums, can operate at one person per four-square-metres indoors, and one person per two-square-metres outdoors. Amusement centres and nightclubs will remain closed.
The requirement to be seated while drinking indoors will be scrapped, and group booking at hospitality venues will be limited to 20 people.
The number of attendees at major outdoor venues such as stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos will be capped at 5,000 people. Cinemas, music halls and theatres can have one person per four-square-metres, or 75 percent fixed seating capacity, whichever is larger.
Mask mandates for adult patrons and staff will remain in place for all indoor settings, but only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask outdoors.
In order to allow some regional areas more time to increase local vaccination rates, regional travel for fully vaccinated people will not resume until the 80 percent target is reached. This includes travel between Greater Sydney and Regional NSW.
From 1 December, NSW will enter the third and final stage of its reopening roadmap, when it is expected to have 90 percent of its population fully vaccinated.
At this stage, all venues can operate at one person per two-square-metres with no seating required for eating or drinking. Amusement centres and nightclubs can reopen at one person per-four-square-metres. Masks will only be required on public transport, planes and at airports, and for front-of-house hospitality workers. A COVID Safe plan will be required for outdoor events with more than 1,000 people. The new settings will apply to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
Further information on the roadmap is expected over the coming days, and some information may change as NSW Health continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation.