Two regional areas go into lockdown, others freed up

Multiple regional areas let out of lockdown - two back in

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Good news for many as lockdown restrictions ease in regions

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While Lismore and Albury local government areas have been plunged back into lockdown, a raft of regional areas have been released from lockdown as of today.

The NSW Government announced that stay-at-home orders will be lifted for Bega, Blayney, Bogan, Cabonne, Dungog, Forbes, Muswellbrook, Narrabri, Parkes, Singleton, Snowy Monaro and Upper Hunter Local Government Areas (LGAs) from 1pm today (Thursday 16 September).

"Stay-at-home orders will unfortunately be introduced for the Albury and Lismore LGAs from 6pm today (Thursday) for one week, due to an increased COVID-19 public health risk," the Government said. It indicated that these lockdowns could be extended.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the 12 LGAs which are coming out of lockdown have been deemed low risk and have not recorded any COVID-19 cases for the past 14 days, but will continue to operate under some restrictions to ensure community safety.

"I encourage everyone in those 12 LGAs which are coming out of lockdown to enjoy their freedoms in a responsible and COVIDSafe way and I urge everyone to get vaccinated as soon as you can, so you can continue to enjoy freedoms when NSW reaches the 70 per cent double dose target," Mr Barilaro said.

"Unfortunately stay-at-home orders will apply to all people who live in the Albury and Lismore LGAs based on updated health advice.

"I know residents in these areas just had stay-at-home orders lifted and having to go back into lockdown is beyond frustrating, but this action is necessary due to positive COVID cases.

"Everyone in the Albury and Lismore LGAs must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason, which includes shopping for food, medical care, getting vaccinated, compassionate needs, exercise and work or tertiary education if you can't work or study at home."

Also read: Stay-at-home order for Yass Valley Council area after positive COVID-19 case detected

Albury and Lismore residents who are fully vaccinated can attend an outdoor gathering of up to five people for exercise or outdoor recreation so long as all of those gathering are aged 16 or older and are fully vaccinated.

The following freedoms are available to all people in regional LGAs where stay-at-home orders have been lifted:

Gatherings in the home and public spaces:

Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home (not including children 12 and under).

Up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings.

Venues including hospitality, 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.

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.

Schools:

Schools will re-open with Level 3 COVIDSafe measures in place.

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:

Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.

Carpooling will be permitted.

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.

For more information, please visit: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19

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