Australia’s newest state premier Dominic Perrottet has flagged a suite of changes to New South Wales’ roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions, boosting caps on home and outdoor gatherings, while abandoning face masks in office settings earlier than first planned.
NSW is slated to enter the next phase of its reopening plan on Monday, 11 October, days after the state recorded a 70% full vaccination rate among those aged 16 and over.
The next phase in the state’s plan will see restaurants, pubs, gyms, retail settings, and a host of other kick back into action, subject to strict density limits and proof of vaccination among clientele.
After a late-night cabinet meeting, Perrottet told ABC’s “News Breakfast” Thursday morning that his government would not bring that date forward.
However, the man who succeeded Gladys Berejiklian has since confirmed a range of updated measures.
Speaking to reporters at the Homebush vaccination hub, Perrottet said up to ten people will be able to visit a home — up from five, with children aged 12 and under not included in the cap.
Outdoor gatherings will welcome 30 people, up from 20. Caps for both weddings and funerals will be lifted to 100, up from 50.
Access to indoor swimming pools and swimming lessons will also resume on Monday, Perrottet said.
Perrottet revealed the requirement to wear face masks in the office will also be dropped when 80% double vaccination is reached.
“They’re an impediment for people going back into the office, so we made some changes last night,” Perrottet told “News Breakfast.”
More changes are flagged once vaccinations surpass 80%.
Home visitor caps will lift again to 20 people, not including children under 12, and outdoor gathering limits will be bumped to 50.
Ticketed major events will be allowed to welcome 3,000 patrons, up from 500 as first flagged.
In a major boon for the state’s quiet night owls, nightclubs will reopen for seated drinking only, with no dancing permitted.
Beyond the planned Thursday announcement, Perrottet said he will speak with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk regarding the states’ shared border, indicating that freedom of domestic travel is necessary for international travel to resume.
“I’m not gonna change my views in relation to that,” he told “News Breakfast”.
“But we can’t stay closed. We can’t be a hermit kingdom on the other side of the world.”
With businesses and workers concerned about the limitation of state and federal income support for locked-down businesses, Perrottet said his government’s economic recovery plan will arrive in the coming weeks.