What you can do in NSW from tomorrow now we've hit 80 per cent

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New South Wales has ticked over the long-awaited 80 per cent COVID-19 vaccine target, unlocking a new set of freedoms from tomorrow.

These include changes to how many people you can have in your home, the number of clients at hairdressers and beauty salons, and capacity limits in venues.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced sweeping changes from Monday, October 18 – the state’s second “freedom day” in a week.

Regional travel has been pushed back until November 1, the same day the state will scrap quarantine requirements and welcome fully vaccinated travellers in.

Here’s what we know about the changes so far:

LIVE COVERAGE: All quarantine to end for international travel in NSW

Can I travel? How far can I travel?

Fully-vaccinated residents in Greater Sydney had initially been told they could travel to regional NSW when the state hit the 80 per cent vaccination milestone.

This date has now been pushed back to November 1 amid concern of low vaccination rates in regional communities.

“The reason we have made that decision is based on vaccination rates in front of us,” Mr Perrottet said.

“If you look at where a percentage of LGAs have reached that 80 per cent double-dose here in Sydney, that is where regional NSW will be on November 1.”

Travel between two regional LGAs is currently allowed, and fully vaccinated residents can travel beyond five kilometres.

Caravan parks and camping grounds have reopened.

Do I need to quarantine if I fly in from another country?

Quarantine requirements will also be scrapped for fully vaccinated international arrivals from November 1.

“Hotel quarantine will be a thing of the past,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Working with the Commonwealth Government, people coming into here, you’ll need to do a PCR test before you board the flight stop you will need to show proof of your double vaccination.

“For double vaccinated people around the world, Sydney, New South Wales is open for business.”

Travellers will not be expected to home quarantine either.

Those who are unvaccinated must do two weeks of hotel quarantine.

That quarantine level will be capped at 210 people a week.

What if you’ve had one dose? Do you still get freedoms?

No.

The easing of restrictions only applies to fully vaccinated NSW residents and those with medical exemptions.

However, regional workers who have had one dose of the vaccine can go to their jobs, with a “grace period” until November 1 to get the second.

Minister for Jobs and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said this acknowledged that some regions had only had a limited supply of vaccines.

Regional areas are those outside Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast.

Will I need to isolate if I am exposed to a COVID-19 case?

Close contacts of COVID-19 contacts will still need to self-isolate even though the quarantine requirement is set to be scrapped in NSW.

Mr Perrottet said the isolation period had been reduced to seven days for the fully vaccinated.

He’s yet to clarify how a close contact is determined, but indicated it would not be if you were exposed at a cafe or restaurant and more likely if you were a family or household contact.

Can I go visit my family?

Yes.

Up to 20 visitors will be allowed in a home from Monday, October 18 where all adults are vaccinated (not including children aged 12 and under).

Under the new guidelines, up to 50 people can gather in outdoor settings.

Only fully vaccinated people can visit.

The only restriction would be if you lived in Greater Sydney and you wanted to visit a family member in a regional area.

Will the shops be open in NSW?

Yes.

Retail stores reopened on Monday, October 11 under the one person per four square metres rule (indoors).

Unvaccinated people — or people who have had one dose — only have access to critical retail.

Personal services such as hairdressers, spas, beauty salons, tattoo and massage parlours and nail salons can open with maximum customer limits of five people at any one time.

These limits will be scrapped at 80 per cent.

Will the pubs and restaurants be opened?

Yes.

Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per four square metres inside and one person per two square metres outside.

Standing drinking will be permitted and a limit on the maximum number of people allowed for a booking will be scrapped from November 1.

For those who are unvaccinated, they are only allowed to access takeaway.

What about the gym? Can I go to my gym?

Yes.

Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per four square metre rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.

Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.

Everyone who attends must be fully vaccinated.

Indoor swimming pools will also re-open for rehabilitation, children’s swimming lessons, and organised lap swimming.

Can I go to the hairdresser?

Yes.

Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per four square metres, capped at five clients per premises.

These limits will be scrapped at 80 per cent.

These limits will be scrapped at 80 per cent.

What about weddings and funerals?

From Monday, October 18 there will be no limits on weddings and funerals.

All attendees will have to be vaccinated.

What about churches? Is my church be allowed to open?

Yes.

Churches and places of worship can open with a rule of one person for every four square metres. However, no singing will be allowed except by performers, and there will be a 10-person cap on choirs.

All performers must be fully vaccinated.

What about travelling interstate?

Probably not.

NSW can only govern its own borders, and it is the first state in the country to hit a full vaccination rate of 70 per cent.

The rules on which state you are allowed to travel to will depend on the government rules set by your destination.

What about the office? Will we still be working at home?

For office workers in Greater Sydney, even at 80 per cent fully vaccinated, employers must continue to allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so.

If you must go into the office, you will be allowed to work without a mask if you’ve been fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated workers must continue to wear a mask.

People in regional NSW could return to work on October 11 if they had had one dose of the vaccine, but were given a deadline of November 1 to be fully vaccinated.

This applies to those not living in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour or the Central Coast.

Will sporting events reopen for crowds? What about theatres and zoos?

Yes.

Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per four square metres, capped at 5000 people.

Up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated outdoor events.

Indoor entertainment and information facilities including cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries can reopen with one person per four square metres or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.

What about masks? Will I still need to wear a mask?

You will not need to wear a mask in the office from October 18.

Masks remain mandatory for indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports.

You don’t need to wear a mask outside.

Will I be able to play community sport?

Yes.

Dust off your uniforms because community sport will recommence from October 18.

What about my kids who are aged under 16, but aren’t vaccinated?

Non-vaccinated young people aged under 16 will be able to access all outdoor settings but will only be able to visit indoor venues with members of their household.

So, is NSW’s lockdown over?

As of 12.01am on October 11, NSW is no longer officially in lockdown.

What if we have another outbreak? Are lockdowns over for good?

No, lockdowns are not ruled out forever but they have been described as a last resort.

When she delivered the plan, former premier Gladys Berejiklian stressed that if there were to be a surge or outbreak of cases then easing restrictions may be delayed, or lockdowns may be brought back in.

But new Premier Dominic Perrottet has previously said he is “absolutely” committed to avoiding any further lockdowns in the state.

Key roadmap changes announced on October 15

Changes to the 80 per cent roadmap (Monday, October 18).

  • people able to have up to 20 visitors (excluding children 12 and under) to a home (previously 10)
  • up to 50 people will be allowed to gather outdoors (previously 20)
  • standing and dancing drinks allowed at indoor and outdoor hospitality venues (previously no dancing)
  • no caps on weddings and funerals
  • up to 3,000 people will be allowed to attend controlled and ticketed outdoor events (previously 500)
  • Community sport to resume
  • masks will no longer be required in office buildings
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