NSW residents have a clear path to recovery after Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday revealed the roadmap for easing of COVID restrictions.
The Premier announced that the Monday after NSW reaches 80 per cent double dose vaccination restrictions will be eased to allow fully vaccinated residents to have 10 people visit their home, participate in community sport, and access to hospitality and retail venues. All premises will operate at 1 person per 4sqm indoors and 1 person per 2sqm outdoors.
Premier Berejiklian said: “I know people are counting down the minutes until we reach 70 per cent double dose and the freedoms that will provide, and today we are providing further certainty by announcing the 80 per cent roadmap and future settings.
“Vaccination remains our ticket to freedom so we need to work even harder to get jabs in arms, to help stop the spread, minimise outbreaks and ensure people are protected when we open up.”
The Premier also outlined that from December 1 unvaccinated people will have greater freedoms, masks will not be required indoors at offices, indoor pools and nightclubs can reopen, and the density of hospitality and retail venues will shift to one person per 2sqm.
Australia’s peak retail body, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), welcomed the NSW roadmap but said delays to opening in ACT and Victoria will cause further pain for retailers.
ARA CEO Paul Zahra said: “We would like to see thresholds for reopening in Victoria and the ACT reconsidered as a matter of urgency, as this Christmas trading period will make or break retailers who depend on these months to stay afloat.
“Safety is always the priority. However, we are calling for a consistent approach to bring reopening in line with the NSW plan to reopen mid-October when 70 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated. ACT and Victorian retailers – particularly small businesses – are currently disadvantaged by the delayed reopening which jeopardises a significant number of sales.
“We would like the ACT and Victoria to reopen earlier to allow retailers to comfortably stagger demand in the build-up to the intense Christmas shopping period, where many discretionary retailers make up to two-thirds of their profits.”