Everything you need to know about the major Covid changes coming to NSW in just a few weeks – but don’t throw the masks away just yet
- Major changes to Covid-19 rules in NSW will be coming into effect on Dec 15
- Masks will only be needed in some settings such as airports and public transport
- QR check-in codes will also be scaled back to ‘high-risk’ venues only
- Residents will also not need to show their proof of vaccination in most settings
New South Wales residents will still have to wear masks and check into some venues amid an easing of restrictions once the state reaches 95 per cent double vaccination coverage.
The new rules are expected to come into effect on December 15 and will mean residents will no longer have to show proof of their vaccination status.
While masks are currently required in all indoor settings other than homes, they will soon be limited to those on public transport, in airports or on planes and for front of house hospitality staff who aren’t vaccinated.
Another major change surrounds the use of QR check-in codes which will only apply to venues deemed ‘high-risk’.
A string of Covid-19 measures will be lifted across New South Wales in just a few weeks as the state’s vaccination rate continues to soar. Masks will no longer be required in most indoor settings (pictured, a woman in Bondi in lockdown)
CHANGES TO NSW COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS AT 95% VAXXED
Masks will only be required on public transport and planes, at airports, and for indoors front-of-house hospitality staff who are not fully vaccinated
QR check-ins will only be required at high-risk venues including hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, gyms, places of worship, funerals or memorial services, personal services (e.g. hairdressers and beauty salons)
Hospitality settings like pubs, small bars, registered clubs and nightclubs and for indoor music festivals with more than 1,000 people will still require QR codes
Proof of vaccination will no longer be required by Public Health Order for most activities (businesses can still require proof at their own discretion).
Proof of vaccination will still be required for indoor music festivals with more than 1,000 people.
No density limits (previously one person per 2sqm)
Covid safety plans will be optional for businesses and will be supported by SafeWork NSW
These venues include hospitals, gyms, beauty services, places of worship, airports, funerals and aged care facilities.
Select hospitality venues such as small bars and nightclubs will also require patrons to check in.
NSW residents will also no longer have to show proof they’re vaccinated for most activities.
Indoor musical festivals with more than 1,000 people will need proof of vaccination while businesses are allowed to choose if they require visitors to be jabbed.
Once the vaccination target is reached people will only be required to check in at ‘high risk venues’ such as hospitals, gyms, beauty services, places of worship, airports, funerals and aged care facilities (pictured woman checking into venue in Sydney)
Density limits for businesses and venues will also be scrapped when the milestone is reached.
Mr Perrottet said NSW was ‘leading the world’ when it came to high levels of vaccinations.
‘The easing of these restrictions will allow people to get out and enjoy summer providing a boost for some of our hardest industries as we do everything we can to ensure we keep people safe as we learn to live with Covid,’ he said.
More than 92 per cent of the state’s residents aged 16 and over are now double-jabbed with NSW on track to hit its 95 per cent vaccination target by December 15.
The state government also announced changes for NSW school settings that will no longer require close contacts of Covid cases to isolate.
Shoppers will no longer have to wear masks when they visit shopping centres once the 95 per cent vax target is reached (pictured, shoppers in Pitt Street Mall in Sydney)
From Monday students who become close contacts will be required to immediately undertake a PCR test.
Once they test negative students are permitted to return to school so long as they provide negative rapid antigen test results for the next seven consecutive days.
Schools will also no longer be required to shut for deep cleaning or while contact tracing is underway unless multiple cases are identified.
‘The people of NSW have worked hard to get to this point, and the government made a commitment that whenever possible we would reduce the disruption to schools,’ Mr Perrottet said.
‘Schools have managed the pandemic extremely well, I want to thank all staff for the way they have conducted themselves and the efforts they have made to reduce the impacts of Covid on their students.’
Proof of vaccination will only be needed for indoor music festivals of more than 1000 people but businesses can still choose if they require proof of vaccination for guests
The new changes are based off recent Doherty Institute and NSW Health advice aimed at minimising disruptions to schooling for students and families.
NSW Health is meanwhile continuing to rollout its vaccine booster program to residents aged 18 and over who have received their second dose six months ago or longer.
Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said booster shots were important in maintaining high immunity levels among the community through the summer and new year period.
‘If you had your second Covid vaccination jab six months or more ago, you should book a booster right now. Don’t’ forget if you haven’t been vaccinated at all go and get the jab to protect yourself and your family,’ Mr Hazzard said.
More than 92 per cent of the state’s residents aged 16 and over are now double-jabbed with NSW on track to hit its 95 per cent vaccination target by December 15 (pictured, screenings at Sydney Airport)