NSW UNLOCKS: Back to school sooner, more home visitors, bigger weddings & funerals – here’s the new Premier’s accelerated plan

- October 7, 2021 4 MIN READ
Dominic Perrottet
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announces changes to Covid restrictions in NSW.
Sydney and NSW will reopen faster than planned under revised plans revealed by new Premier Dominic Perrotett.

The key changes to the Reopening NSW roadmap from this Monday, October 11, are:

  • 10 visitors allowed in the home (excluding children under 12)
  • Outdoor gatherings increase to 30 (previously 20)
  • Weddings and funerals increase to 100 guests (previously 50)
  • Indoor swimming pools open for lessons, squad training, laps, and rehab.
  • All students will return to school by October 25, with K-1 & year 12 from Oct 18.

The new rules only apply to people who are double vaccinated from October 11.

The stay-at-home orders also end from Monday and the list of Local Government Areas of concern will end.

People can travel through the Greater Sydney area, but cannot yet visit regional NSW.

The good news is that the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast are considered part of Greater Sydney

The changes were made at a “crisis cabinet” meeting convened by Premier Dominic Perrottet last night.

“We are bringing forward all schools to return by the 25th of October. So stage one will be the 18th of October and we’ll be moving the period from November into the 25th of October,” Perrottet said.

“So all school children will return to school by 25 October. That’s great for kids. It’s a major relief for parents and their sanity and I think this is an important decision.”


More changes at 80%

Wearing a mask indoors will remain in place until NSW hits an 80% double-vaccination rate, while you can have up to 20 visitors at home and up to 50 people will be allowed to gather outdoors, the premier said.

“On the 80% mark, we will be removing the requirement to wear masks in the office,” Perrottet said.

“We’re also increasing outdoor controlled events. That’s ticketed events to 3,000. So today is a great day…this is not over, but to get to 70% is incredibly successful for everybody right across NSW. We’re going to get to 80% very, very shortly as well.”

Up to 3,000 people will be allowed to attend controlled and ticketed outdoor events (previously 500), nightclubs will be permitted to reopen for seated drinking only (no dancing) at 80%.

The changes at 80% will kick in from the Monday after that benchmark is reached.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the common-sense changes would help life return to normal as soon as possible.

“Vaccinations are the key to life returning to normal and the changes today will help family and friends reconnect, get kids back to school and get businesses back up and running sooner,” he said.

“NSW is putting in the hard yards and it’s important people continue to turn out in droves to be vaccinated.”

The new rules apply for fully vaccinated people until December 1. At that point, unvaccinated will also have the same rules.

Regional rules

Newly elected Nationals leader and deputy premier Paul Toole said workers in regional areas who have received one vaccination dose will be permitted to return to their workplace from October 11 and will be given a grace period until November 1 to receive their second dose.

“This move ensures we get businesses in the regions re-open and local economies buzzing again. It’s about ensuring we make this a roadmap that works for everyone,” he said.

Business challenges

Asked about the challenges faced by small business in NSW, Premier Perrottet , who as treasurer devised the financial support packages for business, such as JobSaver, said it was going to be difficult

“What is most important is we’re on the up – the alternative is remaining closed. And that is not an alternative in my view,” he said.

“We need to open up. We need to open up safely and that’s why we have made the decisions we have so only those who are double vaccinated are able to attend those venues where the restrictions we are lifting.”

Many noticed that after more than 100 days standing beside former Premier Gladys Berejiklian, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant was absent from today’s announcement.
Asked why, Perrottet said they always had a great relationship, but “it’s also an economic crisis as well”.

“As the new premier, we’re the elected officials. That is – and style might be different and changes get made, but in my view we had a very constructive discussion last night and as the health minister has said, these changes are supported by the health team,” he said.

The daily case numbers announcement will likely shift from 11am to 9am.

NSW health minister Brad Hazzard said there were 587 new infections in the 24 hours to 8pm Wednesday. He did not have any details on deaths. NSW has now had 395 fatalities from Covid-19 to Wednesday.

Who opens from Monday

Absenteeism may rise on Monday as people race to the hairdresser for the first time in 107 days.

After 15 weeks in lockdown across Greater Sydney restaurants, cafes, shops, hairdressers, beauticians, gyms, and pools can reopen, with people once again allowed to travel more than 5km from home.

Only double vaccinated people are allowed to head out and shop and dine and drink under these rules between now and December 1.

Covid safety plans and mandatory check-ins for patrons via QR codes (or a register) are mandatory for all businesses.

All venues are subject to the 1 person per 4sqm indoors rule.

For hospitality venues its 1 person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.

Unvaccinated people will continue to only be able to access critical retail.

Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons are capped at 5 clients per site.

Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can offer classes for up to 20 people.

Major outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with 1 person per 4sqm, capped at 5000 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 1 person per 4sqm or 75% fixed seated capacity.


You can book at appointment for a Covid-19 vaccine here.

The latest information on Covid-19 rules in NSW is available at nsw.gov.au.