NSW’s COVID-19 roadmap is changing again — this is what you need to know


By: Sarah Gerathy
The NSW government has changed its COVID-19 roadmap again, bringing forward several freedoms for people who are fully vaccinated. A number of restrictions that were due to be eased on December 1 will instead be scrapped next Monday.However, people who are not vaccinated will face an even longer wait before they can enjoy more privileges. Here’s everything you need to know.What’s changing?From November 8, a lot will change, but only if you are fully vaccinated.There will be no limit on how many people can visit someone’s home, and no density rules for outdoor gatherings of fewer than 1,000 people.The double-vaxxed will once again be able to hit the dance floor in nightclubs, which are currently only allowed to open for people to drink in.Indoor swimming pools will be able to reopen for leisure and paddling, rather than just laps and swimming lessons.
Businesses will be permitted to welcome more fully vaccinated customers, moving to a one person per 2 square metre density limit.Entertainment facilities with fixed seating capacity like stadiums, theatres and cinemas will be able to operate at 100 per cent capacity, while others like theme parks and zoos will be subject to the 2sqm density limits instead of the current caps.What isn’t changing?Gym and dance classes will continue to be capped at 20 people.You’ll still be required to wear a mask in indoor settings such as supermarkets until December 15.What about people who aren’t vaccinated?People who are not vaccinated were originally promised more freedoms on December 1.They’ll now have to wait until 95 per cent of people aged 16 or over in NSW are double vaccinated, or until December 15 – whichever one is first.Until then, they will essentially have to continue living in lockdown.They’ll only be allowed to enter essential businesses (like supermarkets), but barred from everywhere else, including hospitality venues, gyms and non-essential retail settings.The only exception is places of worship, which unvaccinated people are permitted to attend.Why are these changes being made?The Premier Dominic Perrottet said the changes had been made possible by faster-than-expected vaccination rates and the introduction of booster doses.Mr Perrottet said he hoped pushing back the date for extra freedoms for the unvaccinated would encourage more people to get the jab.“We believe that by moving that date back to the 15th of December it will incentivise people,” he said.“We are hopeful that we can get that rate up to 95 per cent — that will not just be nation-leading, it will be world-leading as well.”
NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant warned people to remain cautious.“It is critical that as we go through this transition phase, we need to retain those COVID safe practices,” she said.“Even if you are fully vaccinated, you need to get tested if you have symptoms and you need to stay home. Those small steps can really help us to keep the virus in the community suppressed.”

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