NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has unveiled the state’s road map out of lockdown, with hospitality venues set to reopen to fully vaccinated people from October 18.
The state is on track to reach the 70 per cent double dose vaccination target by mid-October.
“You have been warned, if you’re not vaccinated, come forward and get the vaccine, otherwise you won’t be able to participate in the many freedoms that people have at 70 per cent vaccination,” Berejiklian said.
People will have to show a “vaccine passport” linked to the Service NSW app to gain entry to venues.
According to The Australian, Berejiklian went ahead with the roadmap to freedom despite advice from chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant, who wanted to wait until an 80-85 per cent of full vaccination coverage before reopening.
The Premier also said further freedoms will be granted at 80 per cent vaccination target including the possible restart of international travel.
“We don’t want to put a specific date on that. It is really up to how quickly people get vaccinated and how many people come forward,” she said.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said disaster payments would still be available during the transition.
“I know it can be difficult when we look overseas and see the activity and fact that there are greater freedoms in certain countries around the world but it should fill us with hope that that is the pathway that NSW is on,” he said.
Regional NSW areas with low case numbers such as Albury, Wagga Wagga, Tamworth, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Lismore, Byron Bay and Griffith will have eased restrictions from Saturday.
“I need to make this absolutely clear for all the communities that are coming out of lockdown today, it is a nice feeling but if there is an active case in your community, you will go back into lock down for a minimum of 14 days,” said Deputy Premier John Barilaro.