The new Premier has accelerated New South Wales’ re-opening roadmap as the state fast approaches the 80 per cent double vaccination target.
From Monday community sport will resume and there will no longer be a cap on guests at weddings and funerals. Masks will also no longer be required in offices, and drinking while standing and dancing will be permitted indoors and outdoors at hospitality venues.
Ten thousand people will gather at the Everest Cup in Sydney tomorrow and from 1 November bookings for hospitality venues will no longer be capped, meaning that venues will be able to reap the benefits of one of the year’s biggest days of trade: The Melbourne Cup.
“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,” Mr Perrottet said.
However, travel between Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast) will not commence on Monday as was expected as vaccination rates in the regions tend to lag behind metro areas. Instead regional travel will be allowed from 1 November.
Deputy Premier Paul Toole said it is expected more than 77 per cent of regional LGAs will be fully vaccinated by Novmeber 1.
“Everyone has done a brilliant job of getting vaccinated and rates are rising fast; however we have looked at the health modelling and listened to feedback from regional communities who want more time to get their double dose vaccination rates up as high as possible before they welcome back visitors,” Mr Toole said.
The second taper of the JobSaver program has been deferred until October 31. Eligible regional businesses will receive 30 per cent of weekly payroll, before tapering payments to the scheduled 15 per cent from November 1.
Even still, Tourism Australia say it is a massive blow for regional operators.
“Hotels across regional NSW have taken hundreds of bookings, hired new staff and bought stock based on an announcement the state would open up at 80 per cent double vaccinated,” said Tourism Accommodation Australia NSW CEO, Michael Johnson
“It is also a blow to CBD hotels who have been closed or operating at less than 2 per cent occupancy, with most staff stood down since June.”
More restrictions will be relaxed on 1 December, as previously announced in the Reopening NSW Roadmap.