NSW records 1,405 COVID-19 cases and five deaths as premier unveils path out of lockdown

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said while the "roadmap" is being announced, the state is "not out of the woods" and some restrictions may still apply where case numbers are too high.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks to the media during a COVID-19 press conference in Sydney, Thursday, 9 September, 2021.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks to the media during a COVID-19 press conference in Sydney, Thursday, 9 September, 2021. Source: Getty Images AsiaPac

New South Wales has recorded 1,405 new local COVID-19 cases and five further deaths as the state government announces its "roadmap" out of lockdown for the fully vaccinated. 

Under the plan released on Thursday, stay-at-home orders for adults who have received both vaccine doses will be lifted from the Monday after 70 per cent of the state's population over 16 is fully vaccinated. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there is no specific date when the associated "freedoms" will come into effect.

"We will get to 70 per cent double-dose when people get their second dose, when people come forward to get vaccinated and these freedoms will come into place the Monday after that occurs," she told reporters on Thursday.

"We don’t want to put a specific date on that." 

The premier stressed the "roadmap" is subject to fine-tuning and health advice if circumstances change drastically or if cases within a designated area remain too high. 

“Whilst today, the NSW government is outlining our plan, our road map, for the way forward in NSW, we’re definitely not out of the woods,” she said. 

“We know that case numbers are likely to peak in the next week or so and we also know that our hospital system will be under the greatest stress in October. However, we also know that living with COVID means you have a cautious and staged reopening."

She offered a "warning" to the state to come forward and get vaccinated. "Otherwise, you won't be able to participate in the many freedoms that people have at 70 per cent vaccination," she said. 

The premier said more than 42.5 per cent of the state's population is now fully vaccinated. 

When asked whether the 12 local government areas (LGAS) of concern would be guaranteed similar eased restrictions as the rest of the state, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said there may be times where there are high case numbers "that there would be targeted restrictions in place". 

"This is a statewide roadmap. This is for everyone right across NSW, wherever you work or live ... this is the plan to take us forward as we move through the year." 

Mr Perrottet said the lockdown exit will occur in a "staged way" but it will "provide businesses and workers and the families right across the state the confidence to know there is a bright future ahead."

Eased restrictions for the fully vaccinated

Only fully vaccinated people and those with medical exemptions will have access to the eased restrictions outlined in the state government's roadmap.

They include up to five visitors allowed inside a home where all adults are vaccinated (not including children aged 12 and under), and up to 20 people gathering in outdoor settings. 

Hospitality venues can reopen subject to the four-square-metre rule, as can retail stores. The unvaccinated may only access critical retail outlets such as supermarkets.

Personal services such as hairdressers can reopen with the same four-square-metre rule, as can gyms. Swimming pools can also reopen.

Stadiums can again host events, capped at 5,000 people, and up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated outdoor events.

Cinemas, theatres, museums and galleries can also reopen, and up to 50 vaccinated guests can attend church services, weddings and funerals.

Travel to regional NSW for the fully vaccinated will also be allowed again. 

NSW Health said the deaths reported in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday include a woman in her 40s from south-western Sydney who died at Liverpool Hospital, a woman in her 70s from western Sydney who died at Ryde Hospital, a woman in her 70s from western Sydney who died at Concord Repatriation General Hospital, a man in his 80s from south-western Sydney who died at Westmead Hospital and a man in his 80s from north-western Sydney who died at Nepean Hospital. 

There are currently 1,175 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 202 people in intensive care, 80 of whom require ventilation. 

Thursday's announcement comes amid an upswing in COVID-19 cases in inner Sydney, including Glebe, Waterloo and suburbs in the inner-west. 

Lockdown lifted in parts of regional NSW

Meanwhile, several NSW regions that have had no COVID-19 cases in the past fortnight will be released from lockdown at midnight on Friday.

Ms Berejiklian said the areas enjoying eased restrictions from the weekend will still have some restrictions "to make sure we limit the spread of disease in our regional communities".

The areas include the mid-north coast, the north coast, Albury, the Riverina and Murrumbidgee areas.

Lockdown will continue for the southern parts of the state, the southeast, the Illawarra, the Shoalhaven, Hunter, Central Coast, central west and parts of the far west.

In the areas where stay-at-home orders have been lifted, hospitality venues and shops, hairdressing and nail salons can reopen with restrictions.

Up to to five people will be allowed in a home and up to 20 can gather outdoors. Gyms and sporting facilities will also be able to open.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro warned stay-at-home orders could return if even one new local case was recorded. 

"You are not coming back to a pre-lockdown environment," he said. 

With AAP. 

SBS is providing live translations of daily New South Wales and Victoria COVID-19 press conferences in various languages. 

5 min read
Published 9 September 2021 at 7:18am
By Emma Brancatisano