NSW announces further freedoms for the fully vaccinated with businesses reopening from Monday.

As NSW reaches its 70 per cent fully vaccinated target, the new NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced a raft of reduced restrictions to come into effect from Monday October 11.

This new roadmap out of lockdown significantly overhauls the previous plan with businesses in retail, hospitality and service – including hairdressers, barbers, gyms, and entertainment venues – able to re-open to fully vaccinated people over 16 years old.

As you prepare to welcome clients and customers, learn more about how the first wave of freedoms may affect your business.

Freedoms from Monday, October 11

  • Hospitality businesses including restaurants, cafes and pubs can reopen with restrictions around capacity, and patrons must be seated for both indoor and outdoor sections. QR code check-ins and the wearing of masks will still be required. Patrons will be allowed to remove their masks and to stand up in outdoor sections only.
  • Retail stores can reopen with set capacity limits. QR code check-ins and the wearing of masks will still be required. Unvaccinated people will only be able to access critical retail such as supermarkets and pharmacies.
  • Hairdressers, barbers, beauticians and nail salons can reopen with set capacity limits a cap of five clients at any one time.
  • Gyms, indoor and outdoor pools, and sporting facilities can reopen with set capacity limits and a cap of up to 20 people per fitness classes.
  • Stadiums, race courses, theme parks, and other major facilities will reopen with set capacity limits capped at 5,000 people. Up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated outdoor events.
  • Entertainment and information facilities including cinemas, theatres, museums and libraries can reopen with set capacity limits fixed at 75 per cent seating.
  • Guest limits will be increased for weddings (100 guests), funerals (100 people), and places of worship (capacity limits apply). There will be restrictions on eating and drinking, dancing and singing with vaccination mandatory for all performers.
  • Caravan Parks may reopen.
  • Up to 10 visitors will be allowed in homes, not including children under 12, and outdoor gatherings up to 30 will be permitted – all for fully vaccinated people.
  • Community sport will not be allowed to start up again in the first wave.

People in Sydney can travel outside their LGA including to the Central Coast, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Blue Mountains. Sydney residents will not be able to travel regionally. Carpooling will be allowed again. Residents of regional NSW can travel to other regional areas, but cannot enter Greater Sydney for holidays or without a reasonable excuse.

Unvaccinated people are left entirely out these freedoms – except for those with a valid medical exemption – and unvaccinated people in some parts of regional NSW will also be subject to these restrictions from Monday, even if their region is not in lockdown.

Regardless of their vaccination status, children under 16 are able to attend any of these reopened places as long as they are accompanied by an adult from their household who is fully vaccinated.

A return for NSW schools has been brought forward, with Years K, 1 and 12 returning from October 18, and all remaining years returning October 25.

Freedoms from Monday, October 25

Fully vaccinated adults will be able to enjoy even more freedoms when the state reaches its 80 per cent vaccination target, which has a projection date of October 25.

The second wave of freedoms from October 25 will see:

  • increased capacity numbers in homes, outdoors, and at a range of venues including restaurants, cafes and pubs;
  • the reopening of nightclubs with restrictions on dancing and drinking while seated;
  • the removal of client capping restrictions for services like hairdressing;
  • outdoor events will be able to hold 5000 attendees;
  • and there will be no change to retail shopping restrictions.

Also from October 25, fully vaccinated people will no longer have to wear masks indoors including retail and hospitality settings, as well as in offices. Community sport will be allowed to restart. Regional travel restrictions will also be lifted at this stage.

The third wave is scheduled for December 1 and will see further restrictions lifted and greater freedoms for unvaccinated people.

Should you have any queries about how these changes may impact you, please contact your local Grant Thornton advisor.

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