Covid-19 NSW: Dominic Perrottet announces HUGE changes to lockdown freedom ...

Covid-19 NSW: Dominic Perrottet announces HUGE changes to lockdown freedom ...
Covid-19 NSW: Dominic Perrottet announces HUGE changes to lockdown freedom ...

New NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has unveiled major changes to the state's roadmap out of lockdown - including allowing all school students to return to the classroom in just two weeks.   

Mr Perrottet said Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 12 would return to school on Monday October 18, with students in all year groups back on-site by October 25.

He said the limit on household gatherings, weddings and funerals would also be double what was initially promised by his predecessor Gladys Berejiklian when NSW emerges from its hard lockdown on October 11.

Up to 10 visitors will be allowed to gather inside homes across the state, and as many as 100 residents can attend weddings and funerals together.

The state leader earlier made an announcement Ms Berejiklian had long awaited - that the state had reached the 70 per cent fully vaccinated milestone.

New NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has unveiled major changes to his roadmap out of lockdown in one of his first acts as state leader

New NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has unveiled major changes to his roadmap out of lockdown in one of his first acts as state leader

This means hard-fought freedoms will finally be triggered on Monday, including the reopening of pubs, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers and retail stores.

Double-jabbed Sydneysiders will no longer have to follow the 5km radius rule and will be able to travel outside their LGA as long as they remain within greater Sydney.  

Travel from Sydney to regional NSW has been pushed back to when the state hits 80 per cent full vaccination.

With capacity limits in place, the fully vaccinated will be allowed to abandon lockdown restrictions that millions have endured since June 26.

Since the outbreak's first case was reported in Bondi ten days earlier, there have been 60,596 locally-acquired cases and 395 Covid-related deaths. 

There are 959 Covid-infected patients in NSW hospitals, with 188 in ICU and 93 breathing through a ventilator - all numbers that are expected to rise in coming weeks.

But with millions itching to get back to a sense of normality and fears for the mental health of a generation, Mr Perrottet is looking to go further with the easing of restrictions as his fresh-faced leadership focuses on the state's economic recovery.

On his first full day on the job Dominic Perrottet (pictured with Chris Hemsworth) has already started tinkering with NSW roadmap out of Covid lockdown allowing kid's swimming lessons at indoors pools to go ahead from Monday

On his first full day on the job Dominic Perrottet (pictured with Chris Hemsworth) has already started tinkering with NSW roadmap out of Covid lockdown allowing kid's swimming lessons at indoors pools to go ahead from Monday

Mr Perrottet is gunning behind the scenes to have nightclubs reopened before December (pictured, a Sydney nightclub)

Mr Perrottet is gunning behind the scenes to have nightclubs reopened before December (pictured, a Sydney nightclub)

This could mean nightclubs and amusement parks, originally slated to return in December, could instead open within weeks when the jab rate is set to surpass 80 per cent.

At Wednesday's crisis cabinet meeting - which has now been rebranded as the Covid and Economic Recovery Committee - Mr Perrottet was also gunning for the mandate which requires all indoor workers to wear face masks to be dropped ahead of the December 1 cut-off. 

Another significant change is the scrapping of 11am press conferences, with Covid numbers now set to be released at 9am each morning by NSW Health online instead.

Millions of NSW residents have been living under harsh stay-at-home measures for 15 weeks following June's outbreak, which began with an infected airport driver.

At the height of the Delta outbreak in August there were almost 1,600 daily infections, but that figure has now fallen to below 600 in October as vaccinations rates have skyrocketed.

Newly-appointed NSW premier Dominic Perrottet broke the long-awaited news the state had reached its vaccination target on social media

Newly-appointed NSW premier Dominic Perrottet broke the long-awaited news the state had reached its vaccination target on social media

CHANGES TO THE ROADMAP: WHAT WE KNOW 

Children's swimming lessons in indoor pools will be back from Monday October 11 - previously set for when NSW hits the 80 per cent double-jabbed rate

Nightclubs and amusement centres could also be reopened early, likely when the 80 per cent milestone is reached - originally they were to open in December

Mandatory masks in offices until December 1 may also be abandoned early

11am Covid press conferences are gone - to be replaced by 9am announcements from next week 

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'As we hit the key 70 per cent and 80 per cent vaccination targets in coming days, we need to ensure that our focus remains on keeping people safe and continuing to strive for above 90 per cent vaccination rates,' Mr Perrottet said.

'Alongside this, we must have a sharp focus on how we support businesses and ensure people return to work and give the NSW economy the best chance of bouncing back.

'As we head into December and over the summer period as businesses open... we're going to have a very bright summer.'

The easing of restrictions around children's swimming lessons at indoor pools will also extend to injury rehabilitation sessions and sports training.

From next week wedding, funeral and religious services will be able to go ahead with up to 50 guests, but they must remain seated to eat or drink and no singing is allowed.

Millions of people across New South Wales have rolled their sleeves up to get vaccinated - rocketing the state to the 70 per cent double-dosed milestone (pictured, a nurse gives a Pfizer vaccine in Belmore)

Millions of people across New South Wales have rolled their sleeves up to get vaccinated - rocketing the state to the 70 per cent double-dosed milestone (pictured, a nurse gives a Pfizer vaccine in Belmore)

Dominic Perrottet (pictured) said the 70 per cent milestone has signalled a big step towards a full reopening and a proper summer

Dominic Perrottet (pictured) said the 70 per cent milestone has signalled a big step towards a full reopening and a proper summer

Pubs, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers and retail stores all set to throw open their doors from next week with some capacity limits (pictured, customers at Sydney Opera House before lockdown)

Pubs, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers and retail stores all set to throw open their doors from next week with some capacity limits (pictured, customers at Sydney Opera House before lockdown)

Outdoor recreation facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen under the one person per 4sqm with a cap of 5,000 people.

Concert venues outside can also go ahead with a cap with up to 500 people, who must remain seated.

But anyone heading to these events or to pubs, restaurants, cafes, gyms, retails stores and personal services like hairdressers, will need to prove their vaccination status by scanning in with QR code.

Vaccine passports have been a hot political topic in Australia and throughout the world, but Down Under the business community has been a major driver behind the idea, seeing it as a ticket to freedom and an answer to the relentless cycle of lockdowns that have crippled their establishments.

Under the NSW system, anyone who has

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