NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has flagged bringing more freedoms forward for state residents next week. This could include allowing regional travel from Sydney once the 80 per cent fully vaccinated state milestone is hit, estimated to be by Sunday.
Currently, some 75.23 per cent of residents over 16 are fully vaccinated and 90.77 per cent have had at least one dose in New South Wales.
The country’s most populous state could reach the 80 per cent fully vaccinated milestone by Sunday, just days into the reopening triggered on Monday after 70 per cent of eligible residents got both jabs.
That will set the stage for the next phase in the state’s reopening to begin next Monday, a week earlier than expected.
“The success of our vaccination rate has been absolutely superb … When we hit 80 per cent, we’ve always said it will be the Monday following,” Mr Perrottet said.
The government’s COVID-19 and economic recovery committee – formerly known as the crisis cabinet – will discuss tweaking the reopening roadmap on Thursday.
Mr Perrottet could announce changes to regional travel rules and other restrictions on Friday including carpooling, weddings of any size if the venue is large enough, and community sport.
However, a leading epidemiologist has warned that domestic travellers should keep away from regional areas until COVID-19 vaccination rates in such destinations increase.
As domestic tourism is set to resume as more states emerge from lockdown, UNSW infectious diseases expert Mary-Louise McLaws said greater vaccine protection was first needed in travel hotspots.
“We’ve got to wait until it is further down the track until the regional areas have had enough access to the vaccine, so they don’t have people coming into the regional areas and spreading it,” Prof McLaws told the Nine Network.
As things currently stand, the next phase of the roadmap paves the way for outdoor gatherings of up to 50 vaccinated people, 20 guests in a home, dancing at hospitality venues and drinking standing up at the pub.
NSW ‘Vaccination Passport’ to be ready by Monday
Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello says the Service NSW app’s vaccination passport function could be rolled out statewide sooner than next Monday.
He said the regional pilots for the function are progressing well, while the app’s security settings will be boosted – including the removal of dates of birth from vaccination passports.
Once COVID-19 digital certificates are available in the Service NSW app, you’ll be able to prove your vaccination status when you check in to a venue or check-in for a flight.
A COVID-19 digital certificate is available online now to people who have received 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Most people can get proof of their COVID-19 vaccination currently using their Medicare online account.
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