Optometry practices are among the many businesses in New South Wales that are set to “start firing again” once stay-at-home orders are lifted for adults in New South Wales who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The stay-at-home orders will be lifted for these adults from the Monday after NSW passes the 70% double vaccination target, under the roadmap to freedom released today.
This roadmap gives us the light at the end of the tunnel we all want and will enable our economy to start firing again, driving our state back to prosperity
“I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to get vaccinated – if you have not had both doses of the vaccine by the time we hit the 70% milestone, you will not be able to take advantage of these freedoms,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the easing of restrictions would come as a huge relief to struggling businesses and workers.
“This roadmap gives us the light at the end of the tunnel we all want and will enable our economy to start firing again, driving our state back to prosperity,” Mr Perrottet said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the government will continue to be guided by the health advice, and may still require targeted restrictions to deal with outbreaks.
“As we work toward reopening NSW, it is vital people continue to come forward and get vaccinated to help protect the community and reduce transmission of the virus,” Mr Hazzard.
When NSW hits the 80% double dose target, the government intends to open up further freedoms around international travel, community sport, major events and other areas.
Professor Tony Blakely, an Epidemiologist and Public Health Medicine Specialist at The University of Melbourne said the Roadmap looks “reasonable”.
In a statement he said, “We have to open up at some point, and this plan seems a reasonable plan.
“However, a good plan does not mean it will work – especially with COVID-19! What will be required is very close monitoring of daily cases after (each) incremental opening up.
“If the daily increase in numbers surges, and a forecast suggests the numbers will surge beyond whatever the threshold of daily cases that NSW is prepared to tolerate is (say 2,000, with 100 hospitalisations per day as a maximum), then some opening up will need to be reversed.
“Second, vaccinated people can still get infected and transmit the virus. AstraZeneca has about 60% effectiveness at stopping any infection, Pfizer 80% (they are both much better at stopping serious illness and death). Assume an average of 70%.
“Then the chance of transmission in an environment is reduced by over 90 per cent if both people contacting each other are vaccinated, compared to two unvaccinated people contacting each other.”
Freedoms for adults in NSW who have had both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will include:
Gatherings in the home and public spaces:
• Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home where all adults are vaccinated (not including children 12 and under).
• Up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings.
Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms:
• Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
• Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule (unvaccinated people will continue to only be able to access critical retail).
• Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.
• Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
• Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.
Stadiums, theatres and major outdoor recreation facilities:
• Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4sqm, capped at 5,000 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 4sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.
Weddings, funerals and places of worship:
• Up to 50 guests can attend weddings, with dancing permitted and eating and drinking only while seated.
• Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking while seated.
• Churches and places of worship to open subject to one person per 4sqm rule, with no singing.
• Domestic travel, including trips to regional NSW, will be permitted.
• Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.
• Carpooling will be permitted.
• 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.
• Employers must continue to allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so.
• There will be revised guidance on isolation for close and casual contacts who are fully vaccinated, with details to be provided closer to the reopening date.
• Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports.
• Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors.
• Children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors.