The reopening of NSW continues today with masks coming off in the office after the state hit its 80% double dose vaccination target last week.
Under the Reopening NSW Roadmap’s 80% settings for people who are fully vaccinated, community sport returns, you can stand to have a drink and there’s no longer a cap on wedding or funeral guests.
You no longer have to wear a mask in the office.
One important change to the plan, however, is travel outside the Greater Sydney region (which includes the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast) to regional NSW has been delayed until November 1, to increase second dose rates in the regions.
To support regional businesses how may be hit by the delay, the NSW Government has deferred the second taper of the JobSaver program until October 31. Eligible regional businesses will receive 30% of weekly payroll, before tapering payments to 15 % from November 1.
Meanwhile, in terms of what you can now do: from today, October 18, the number of visitors allowed in your home doubles from 10 to 20, not including children under 12.
The gatherings capacity has increased from 30 to 50.
Premises offering sex can also reopen today.
Drinking while standing and dancing is allowed indoors and outdoors at hospitality venues – although that’s pubs; nightclubs can reopen, but patrons still need to sit to drink and dancing is not allowed.
The 4-square-metre rule applies indoors, 2sqm outdoors, until November 1 when the cap on hospitality venues will be removed.
School students in kindergarten, years 1 and 12 return to school today as part of the 70% plan, with other students returning to classrooms from next Monday, October 25. Teachers are still required to wear masks at work.
NSW residents will still need to comply with COVID-Safe check-ins and provide proof of vaccination to staff in most settings.
More restrictions will be relaxed on December 1, including for those not fully vaccinated, under previously announced plans in the Reopening NSW Roadmap.
Returning from overseas rules relaxed
And in good news for Australians still stranded overseas, from November 1, NSW will remove quarantine requirements and caps for overseas arrivals, provided they’re recognised as fully vaccinated by the Commonwealth government. Further details on the program will be announced shortly.
Fully vaccinated travellers already in quarantine will finish their isolation on November 1, even if it is less than 14-days.
Overseas arrivals who are not fully vaccinated will be capped at 210 people per week, and will be required to undergo mandatory 14-days hotel quarantine.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the easing of restrictions and return of overseas travellers would help reunite families and be a significant boost for the economy.
“We have reached this vaccination milestone quicker than anyone thought we could, and that is a testament to the hard work of people across the State turning out to get vaccinated,” he said.
“Welcoming back fully vaccinated travellers will not only mean families and friends can be home in time for Christmas, it will also give our economy a major boost.”
More on the 80% Roadmap and lifting of restrictions is available at nsw.gov.au