NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet says he could make “small changes” to the state’s roadmap out of lockdown during a crisis cabinet meeting being held tonight.
Restrictions will ease on Monday, including the reopening of retail, restaurants and bars, after the Premier confirmed on social media that the state had reached the target of 70 per cent of over 16s being fully vaccinated.
“This is great news and big step closer to a full reopening and a proper summer,” he posted.
A short time earlier the new Premier said there would be “an opportunity for some changes”, but would not be drawn on what those might be.
But he ruled out bringing forward the day the state would reopen.
“We have said in relation to the day, that will be Monday,” Mr Perrottet said.
“While we hit 70 per cent today we will do it on the Monday afterwards. I am committed to that.”.
He said he had already discussed the proposed changes to the roadmap with the NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant and there would be further discussions at a meeting of the crisis cabinet this evening.
“I spent the day working through those matters and once those decisions are made, I will let you know,” he told reporters.
He was speaking before the swearing-in of his new Deputy Premier Paul Toole at Government House in Sydney.
With students due to begin returning to the classroom in 12 days, Mr Perrottet conceded that the NSW Education Department did not know how many teachers were fully vaccinated.
“It’s an incredibly important point because we want to make sure that our kids are safe and part of that is that our teachers are vaccinated ,” he said.
Schools will begin reopening on October 18.
Mr Perrottet said checks would be put in place to make sure teachers involved with face-to-face learning were fully immunised by then.
“Bottom line is if you are a teacher you need to get double vaccinated,” he said.
The Premier paid tribute to his new Deputy Premier as an “incredible fighter for regional New South Wales”.
He said the pair would be on the “first flight” out to the regions when travel restrictions were lifted.
“Wherever you live in this state, you should have access to the best services possible,” he said.
Mr Perrottet announced that the transport portfolio had been given to his unsuccessful challenger in the leadership ballot, Rob Stokes, who will add it to his planning portfolio.
The Premier has not made any major changes to his ministry but signalled a reshuffle was likely in the summer.
“I want to make sure the team I have is the best team that we have and stability and continuity was important,” he said.