Sydney, 11 October 2021 (dpa/MIA) – A lockdown in Australia’s New South Wales ended on Monday after 106 days, nearly 63,000 Covid-19 cases and over 430 deaths.
Stay-at-home orders for Greater Sydney residents introduced in late June in a bid to battle a coronavirus outbreak were lifted on Monday after the state crossed the 70-per-cent threshold of double-jabbed eligible residents the previous week.
Fully vaccinated residents will now be allowed to gather outdoors in groups of up to 30 and have up to 10 visitors to their homes.
Retail and hospitality, services like hairdressers and tattoo studios and recreation including gyms will reopen at one person per 4 square metres (sqm) indoors and 1 person per 2 sqm outdoors.
Large outdoor sites like zoos and stadiums will reopen with density limits for up to 5,000 people and indoor entertainment including cinemas and museums will reopen with the greater of the density limit or 75-per-cent fixed seated capacity.
Students were also set to return to on site learning from October 25 as part of the reopening roadmap, the NSW government said.
Until December 1, the easing of all rules will apply only to those who have had both vaccine doses.
Greater Sydney residents, who since mid-August have not been allowed to travel further than 5 kilometres from their homes, will be able to travel freely in the area, though they will not be allowed to go to regional areas – where vaccination rates are lower – until 80-per-cent of residents across the state are double jabbed.
Some parts of regional NSW had exited lockdown early because deemed low risk.
The lockdown was lifted despite local transmission still occurring for the first time in Australia, as some parts of the country switched from Covid-19 elimination to a suppression strategy after failing to contain several Delta variant outbreaks.
NSW, which at the peak of the current outbreak in early September recorded over 1,500 new cases, reported 496 locally acquired infections and eight more deaths on Monday.
As of Monday, 73.5 per cent of NSW’s eligible population was double jabbed and over 90 per cent had received one dose.
Just under 62 per cent have been fully vaccinated nationwide.