Lockdown lifts for regional towns, 1405 new cases, five deaths

Lockdown lifts for some NSW regional towns, 1405 new cases, five deaths

WATCH
Coronavirus
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The state's roadmap to reopening strategy is revealed.

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On the day parts of the state received good news, NSW recorded its 13th straight day of 1000+ newly-acquired cases.

The daily case count stands at 1405 and five more fatalities takes the NSW death toll from the Delta outbreak to 153.

The easing of the stay-at-home orders for some regions was announced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro as was the roadmap to reopening once the state's double-dose vaccination rate hits 70 per cent.

The Western NSW health district and Dubbo continue to bear the brunt of the regional outbreak, with 24 new cases emerging on Wednesday.

It's a region that won't be coming out of the lockdown that was scheduled to end at midnight Friday.

"For regional and rural NSW today, vast amounts of the regions will open - Mid North Coast, the north coast, north-west, Albury, to Riverina and Murrumbidgee areas," deputy premier John Barilaro said.

"For the areas coming out of lock down, you are not coming back to a pre-lockdown environment. There will be capacity limits for our hotels, cafes and restaurants, including the four square metre rule, mask wearing, social distancing.

"There is rules around certain activities that won't recommence. Community sport won't be permitted yet.

"We know through the sewerage surveillance, there is seeding across the regions and there is a risk that the COVID pandemic continues in regional and rural NSW."

One case is one case too many in the regions, Mr Barilaro said, flagging the emergence of a case will lead to a minimum 14-day lockdown.

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Stay-at-home orders for adults who have receivedboth doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be lifted from the Monday after NSW passes the 70 per cent double vaccination target, under the roadmap to freedom released today.

The roadmap is subject to further fine-tuning and health advice if circumstances change drastically or if cases within a designated area remain too high.

Only fully vaccinated people and those with medical exemptions will have access to the freedoms allowed under the Reopening NSW roadmap.

The freedoms for vaccinated adults will come into effect on the Monday after NSW hits the 70 per cent double dose target and include:

Gatherings in the home and public spaces:

  • Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home where all adults are vaccinated (not including children 12 and under).
  • Up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings.

Venues includinghospitality, retail stores and gyms:

  • Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
  • Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule (unvaccinated people will continue to only be able to access critical retail).
  • Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.
  • Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
  • Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.

Stadiums, theatres and major outdoor recreation facilities:

  • Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4sqm, capped at 5,000 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 one person per 4sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.

Weddings, funerals and places of worship:

  • Up to 50 guests can attend weddings, with dancing permitted and eating and drinking only while seated.
  • Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking while seated.
  • Churches and places of worship to open subject to one person per 4sqm rule, with no singing.

Travel:

  • Domestic travel, including trips to regional NSW, will be permitted.
  • Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.
  • Carpooling will be permitted.
  • Non-vaccinated young people aged under 16 will be able to access all outdoor settings but will only be able to visit indoor venues with members of their household.
  • Employers must continue to allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so.
  • There will be revised guidance on isolation for close and casual contacts who are fully vaccinated, with details to be provided closer to the reopening date.

Masks:

  • Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports.
  • Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors.
  • Children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors.

When NSW hits the 80 per cent double dose target, the government intends to open up further freedoms around international travel, community sport, major events and other areas.

If you are not booked in for a COVID-19 vaccine, please book an appointment as soon possible.

For the latest information visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19

More than 100,000 people were vaccinated yesterday.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said: "We are seeing that rate slightly decline and we want to call upon anybody who hasn't had any doses to come forward."

Victoria recorded 324 new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases overnight - its highest figure since August 2020 - as those who live in the regions prepare to emerge from lockdown.

The health department on Thursday confirmed 107 cases were linked to known outbreaks, with the source of the remaining 217 infections under investigation.

It brings the total number of active COVID-19 cases in the state to 2166.

The last time Victoria recorded more than 300 cases was on August 14, 2020, when 301 infections were logged.

Queensland has recorded one new local case of COVID-19, with a 10-year-old boy testing positive. Authorities were not worried about the new case, which was linked to the existing Beenleigh cluster.

The story Lockdown lifts for regional towns, 1405 new cases, five deaths first appeared on Newcastle Herald.

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