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Australia Major changes to NSW's Freedom Plan out of lockdown announced

15:51  29 september  2021
15:51  29 september  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Major changes to NSW's Freedom Plan will mean Sydneysiders will enjoy unlimited bookings at restaurants and pack out pubs as thousands of schoolchildren are called back to classrooms a week early.

The cap that restricts booking numbers in hospitality venues will be scrapped when the state hits the 80 per cent vaccination mark.

Punters will be able to book tables at pubs and restaurants for an unlimited number of guests, however venues will still have to abide by strict density rules.

A large portion of NSW students will resume face-to-face learning on October 18, following decisions made in a late-night crisis cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

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MAJOR CHANGES TO NSW'S ROADMAP OUT OF LOCKDOWN

Major changes to NSW's Freedom Plan out of lockdown have been announced following a late night crisis cabinet meeting:

Hospitality venues

*The cap restricting booking numbers in hospitality venues will be scrapped when the state hits the 80 per cent vaccinate rate

*Venues will still have to abide by density limits which allows one customer every four sqm inside and two sqm outside

*Between the 70 and 80 per cent vaccination milestones the cap of 20 people per booking will remain in place

Education

*Year 1 and Year 12 students will return to face-to-face learning a week early on October 18

*Years 2, 6 and 11 will return to campus the following week on October 25.

*All remaining year groups will return on November 1.

'Freedom Day' roadmap released for NSW

  'Freedom Day' roadmap released for NSW Gladys Berejiklian has released the roadmap out of lockdown revealing the new freedoms to come once 80 per cent of NSW residents have been vaccinated. Sweeping changes will be made to the hospitality industry, home and outdoor gathering cap numbers and regional travel. Only fully-vaccinated residents, and those with exemptions, will be able to take advantage of the eased restrictions.The raft of restrictions will be eased on the Monday after the vaccination milestone is met - which is expected to be reached on October 25. Up to 10 people will be allowed to visit a home and friends can meet in groups of 20 outdoors.

*Only fully vaccinated teaching staff will be allowed to return on October 18.

While the state lingers between the 70 and 80 per cent vaccination rate, rules restricting bookings to 20 people will remain in place.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian teased a change to the cap on group bookings during her Covid press conference earlier on Wednesday.

The premier used the logic that if a group of 20 people didn't necessarily know the group next to them, there would be less mingling between the two.

'It's still important between 70 and 80 per cent to ensure that we prevent any virus spreading,' she said.

'Because between 70 and 80 per cent, we do still need to exercise caution.'

Ms Berejiklian said the cap was part of 'finding the right balance of providing freedom and business reopening with not overwhelming our hospital system'.

When 70 per cent of NSW residents are fully vaccinated punters will be able to enjoy a beer at the pub as hospitality venues are finally allowed to reopen on October 11.

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At the 80 per cent vaccination milestone patrons will allowed to drink while standing in hospitality venues, and restaurants and pubs will be able to seat one customer every four sqm inside and two sqm outside.

Socially-distanced reintroductions to hospitality venues and hairdressers will begin from October 11; the Monday after the state was expected to surpass 70 per cent of its population being double-vaccinated.

About two weeks later, the state is expected to reach 80 per cent coverage, triggering the restoration of additional freedoms and regional travel.

These freedoms will only be restored for the fully vaccinated until December 1 when the same laws will apply to all.

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Meanwhile, Year 1 and Year 12 students are now scheduled to return to campus on October 18 while Years 2, 6 and 11 will arrive the following week on October 25.  All remaining year groups will return on November 1.

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Only vaccinated teaching staff will be welcomed back into classrooms.

Several senior ministers considered bringing students back even earlier on October 11, the Daily Telegraph reported.

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However it was ultimately agreed students would return seven days later to give their teachers another week to get vaccinated.

All teaching staff in NSW were originally mandated to get two doses of a Covid vaccine by November 8.

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Last month, a Department of Education survey revealed almost 70 per cent of staff had received at least one dose of the vaccine, with 40 per cent double jabbed.

But one in ten workers said they were not booked in or planned to get immunised within the next month.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian hinted at an earlier return for students during her Covid press conference on Wednesday.

Ms Berejiklian said her government was 'looking at options if we can bring things forward' in relation to the original return date earmarked for October 25.

The state leader said there were considerations to be made on the number of teaching staff that were currently vaccinated across the state.

( © Provided by Daily Mail ( ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

'Parents should assume it is October 25 and if there is better news than that, we will convey it,' the premier said earlier on Wednesday.

'I want to stress we are carefully considering the options we have to get kids to school earlier if we can.

'We didn't expect to have hit 70 per cent double dose on October 11 so we are considering what that does for the school system.'

Dominic Perrottet reveals HUGE changes to NSW roadmap out of lockdown

  Dominic Perrottet reveals HUGE changes to NSW roadmap out of lockdown NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has unveiled major changes to the state's roadmap - including allowing all school students to return to the classroom by October 25.Mr Perrottet said Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 12 would now return to school on Monday October 18, with students in all year groups back on-site by October 25.

Ms Berejiklian said 'regrettably' the return to classrooms would trigger the emergence of new cases.

She said the state government was still finalising the procedures that would follow an outbreak of infections in schools and when they would need to shut down.

'We are going through those processes now and we will give the community good advice ahead of that,' the state leader said.

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the emphasis of the return to classrooms would be on the safety of students.

'I recognise that there are a mix of views across the community on when the right time is for children to return to school,' she said.

The minister said it was positive the state had hit vaccination targets early but it was imperative students could return to campuses in a 'safe and sensible' way.

'We continue to review our school settings and plans, as we have done throughout the pandemic, in line with the latest health advice.'

There has been a strong vaccine uptake in NSW students in the 12 to 15 year group with 44 per cent having received one dose of a Covid vaccine.

( © Provided by Daily Mail ( ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

In a webinar video seen by Daily Mail Australia, Secretary of the NSW Department of Education Georgina Harrison warned staff about the mandatory jab requirement.

'It will mean under the public health order that they (teachers) are lawfully unable to work for us, and we will have to look at measures such as leave without pay until someone could get vaccinated, or possibly terminating their employment because it will be a requirement of employment,' Ms Harrison said in August.

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'This is a really significant and serious step, it has not been taken lightly. Know that it has been taken on the very best health advice about what will protect our whole school community the best as we plan for return.'

Ms Berejiklian has reassured Year 12 students final HSC exams would be pushed back to November 9 - a day after mandatory vaccination is required for all staff on campuses.

NSW recorded 863 new local cases of Covid-19 and 15 deaths on Wednesday.

NEW NSW FREEDOM ROADMAP

80 PER CENT ROADMAP (expected to be October 25)

Under the Reopening NSW roadmap at 80 per cent, the following freedoms will apply only to fully vaccinated adults (16+) and those with medical exemptions (staff and patrons).

Gatherings in the home and outdoor public spaces

Up to 10 visitors will be allowed in a home (not including children 12 and under)

Up to 20 people can continue to gather in unregulated outdoor settings

Up to 200 people can attend COVID Safe events

Up to 500 people can attend controlled (ticketed and seated) events

Community sport permitted

Those who are not fully vaccinated may only gather outdoors in groups of 2 people.

Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms

Retail stores can operate at one person per 4 sqm (those who are not fully vaccinated will continue to only have access to non-critical retail via click-and- collect)

Personal services such as hairdressers, spa, nail, beauty, waxing, tattoo and massage) can operate with one person per 4 sqm (uncapped)

Hospitality venues can operate with one person per 4 sqm inside and one person per 2 sqm outside, with the requirement to be seated while drinking indoors removed.

Group bookings will be limited to 20 people.

Those who are not fully vaccinated can only access hospitality settings for takeaway

Gyms and indoor recreation facilities (excluding indoor pools) can operate with one person per 4sqm, capped at 20 people per class.

Major outdoor recreation facilities

Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can operate with one person per 4 sqm, capped at 5,000 people (or by exemption).

Entertainment, information and education facilities

Entertainment facilities (including cinemas, theatres, music halls) can operate with one person per 4 sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity (whichever is larger)

Information and education facilities (including libraries, galleries and museums) can operate with one person per 4 sqm

Amusement centres and nightclubs will remain closed.

Working from home

Employers must continue to allow employees to work from home, if reasonably practicable

Employers must require employees who are not fully vaccinated to work from home, if reasonably practicable.

Education

Return to school with COVID Safe measures on 25 October (as previously announced).

Weddings, funerals and places of worship

One person per 4sqm (uncapped) for weddings with dancing permitted and eating and drinking allowed while standing. Those who are not fully vaccinated may only attend weddings with a maximum of 5 guests (no receptions)

One person per 4 sqm (uncapped) for funerals. Those who are not fully vaccinated may only attend funerals with a maximum of 10 people

Churches and places of worship can continue to open with one person per 4 sqm, with no singing. Those who are not fully vaccinated will be allowed.

Travel

Unrestricted trips between Greater Sydney and Regional NSW will be permitted

Caravan parks and camping grounds can operate, including for those who are not fully vaccinated

Carpooling is permitted. Those who are not fully vaccinated can only carpool with their household.

Masks

Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor premises and settings, except children under 12

Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask while outdoors

CHANGES FROM 1 DECEMBER 2021

On Wednesday 1 December 2021, the following settings will apply to ALL NSW citizens, regardless of their vaccination status:

Gatherings in the home and outdoor public spaces

No limit on the number of visitors to a home

Density will shift to one person per 2 sqm for indoor and outdoor settings

No limit on the number of people who can attend informal outdoor gatherings

COVID Safe plan required for outdoor events with more than 1,000 people

Community sport permitted for all people.

Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms

Retail stores can operate at one person per 2 sqm

Personal services such as hairdressers, spa, nail, beauty, waxing, tattoo and massage can operate with one person per 2 sqm

Hospitality venues can operate with one person per 2 sqm inside and outside, with no seating required for eating and drinking

Gyms and indoor recreation facilities, including indoor pools, can operate with one person per 2 sqm (uncapped)

Intimate services can open with one person per 4 sqm

Major outdoor recreation facilities

Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can operate with one person per 2 sqm.

Entertainment, information and education facilities

Entertainment facilities (including cinemas, theatres, music halls) can operate with one person per 2 sqm

Information and education facilities (including libraries, museums and galleries) can operate with one person per 2 sqm

Amusement centres and nightclubs can open with one person per 4 sqm.

Working from home

Working from home will be at employer's discretion.

Education

All year groups return to face-to-face learning. Weddings, funerals and places of worship

One person per 2 sqm for weddings with dancing permitted and eating and drinking allowed while standing

One person per 2 sqm for funerals

Churches and places of worship can operate with one person per 2 sqm, with singing permitted.

Travel

Domestic travel, including trips between Greater Sydney and Regional NSW

Caravan parks and camping grounds can operate

Carpooling is permitted

Quarantine settings for vaccinated arrivals will be altered. A cap on unvaccinated travellers may remain.

Masks

Masks wearing will be mandatory while travelling on public transport, on planes and at airports, and for front-of-house hospitality workers

Mask wearing is not required when outdoors.

For further information about the Reopening NSW roadmap, go to www.nsw.gov.au/COVID-19

Read more

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