EXPLAINED: Harsh restrictions eased for LGAs of concern, public pools set to reopen

© 9News NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced a suite of restrictions will be wound back across LGAs of concern.

As New South Wales‘ vaccine coverage continues to soar, today hitting 81 per cent single doses, a raft of restrictions have now been downgraded in response.

These new freedoms will be felt particularly in the local government areas of concern, where residents will now be “equalised” to everybody else in Greater Sydney.

This morning Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that from tomorrow all LGAs of concern will no longer be under the strictest lockdown rules in the state, and will now have the same regulations in place as the rest Sydney.

The rues will apply to everyone except for the list of authorised workers, who are granted special permissions.

From next Monday, September 27, public pools across the state will also reopen in a COVID-safe way.

What do the new restrictions mean?

All residents across Greater Sydney, from the Northern Beaches, to Bondi, Liverpool and Penrith, will now be under exactly the same rules as one another.

What are those rules?

You can only leave the home for the following four reasons:

  • shopping for essential items (one person only within LGA/5km)
  • care and compassionate reasons (one visitor only)
  • exercise (in groups no more than 2 – excluding groups of household members, within 5km or within LGA.)
  • work and education that cannot be conducted remotely

People who live alone can still nominate one designated family member or friend to visit for companionship. “Singles bubbles” will still be required to be registered on nsw.gov.au.

© Getty All residents across Greater Sydney are now able to gather in groups of five fully vaccinated adults.

Outdoor gatherings of up to five people, not including children aged 12 and under, or residents of the same household (within a LGA or 5km of home) are permitted.

Previously only fully vaccinated household members could gather outdoors, or up to two fully vaccinated people from different households

What about public pools?

Residents living along the coast have enjoyed the state’s beaches on warm spring days, now, all people across NSW will have access to public pools to cool off.

“All public pools will be open in a COVID-safe way and those COVID safe plans will be formalised and made public,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Making sure that we keep community safe as much as possible and prevent seeding, but all of us appreciate the importance of enjoying the warmer weather and the positive mental health and recreation and exercise.

Natural pools, such as rock pools and springs, are already permitted to be open.

And schools?

Schools will conduct remote learning but will remain open for students who need them.

There will be a staggered return of students to face-to-face learning and parts of regional NSW.

Students will return to face-to-face learning from:

  • 25 October – Kindergarten, Year 1, Year 12 full-time
  • 1 November – Year 2, 6 and 11
  • 8 November – Year 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10

Schools will operate under level three restrictions which include:

  • minimal mixing between students
  • no extra adults on school sites
  • no assemblies or large gatherings
  • masks mandatory for staff and high school students
  • masks strongly recommended for primary school students

Can I go shopping?

Shopping can now be conducted 5km from home or within your LGA, previously rules stated that residents must only shop within five kilometres from the home.

What are the exercise limitations?

There are no limits on the duration of exercising outdoors across the state, however people are still required to do so within five kilometres from their home or within a local government area.

Weddings?

Residents will now be allowed attend a small wedding, with a maximum of 11 people, anywhere in Greater Sydney as a guest. Rules previously stated that guests would only be allowed to attend a wedding within their LGA.

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