NSW has reached the 70 per cent double-dose COVID-19 vaccination milestone that will trigger the easing of some restrictions on Monday, after 15 weeks of lockdown.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday afternoon, newly minted premier Dominic Perrottet congratulated the state’s residents on the achievement.
“This is great news and big step closer to a full reopening and a proper summer,” he said.
From Monday, shops and hairdressers re-open to the fully vaccinated and the five kilometre from home travel limit ditched.
Five visitors will be allowed in homes while 50 guests will be permitted at outdoor weddings and funerals.
The premier earlier on Wednesday said his government will consider making some changes to the state’s roadmap out of lockdown, but brushed off suggestions the easing of restrictions due Monday would come early.
“Whilst we hit 70 per cent today, (we have said) we would do it on the Monday afterwards. I am committed to that,” he told reporters.
The state’s crisis cabinet is meeting to discuss the rest of state’s lockdown exit plan on Wednesday evening, after the premier earlier met with the senior NSW Health team.
But Mr Perrottet remained coy on exactly what changes might be on the table.
“I worked very closely with the former deputy premier and former premier in putting the roadmap together… but I do think there is an opportunity for some changes,” he said.
“I had some very good discussions with the health team this morning. We went through a range of issues.
“(But) these are matters that need to be taken to the cabinet this afternoon. I am not going to pre-empt that.”
The timeline for the return to school, currently to be phased over three weeks from October 18, and vaccine requirements for workers in regional NSW, are two items he confirmed were on the agenda.
He also said there was no prospect for the unvaccinated to be released from restrictions before December.
New locally-acquired COVID-19 cases across the state continue to decline ahead of the relaxation of restrictions.
The state recorded 594 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, its lowest daily number since August.
Ten deaths were also reported – seven men and three women – bringing the number of people who have died in the latest outbreak to 395.
Across the state, 88.6 per cent of people 16 and over have received their first vaccine, and 67.7 per cent are fully jabbed as of 11.59pm on Monday.
There are 959 patients in NSW hospitals, with 188 people in intensive care and 93 who require ventilation.
Greater Sydney has been locked down for more than 15 weeks, and one of the biggest challenges for the state’s new leadership team will be navigating re-opening.
Lobby group Business NSW wants a panel established to consider on a case-by-case basis financial support for small businesses that don’t qualify for any current hardship packages.
“There is concern amongst the business community that some may ‘fall through the cracks’ when it comes to the support packages,” Chief executive Daniel Hunter said.