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Lockdown Update: Restrictions For Western Sydney To Be Eased From Tomorrow

By Sammy Preston
19th Sep 2021

Sydney city skyline

Update: Sunday 19 September, 2021

  • Additional restrictions for Western Sydney LGAs dropped from tomorrow

On Monday 20 September, the raft of tighter restrictions that have been in place for 12 Western Sydney LGAs will finally be eased. From tomorrow, all of Greater Sydney will be under the same lockdown and stay-at-home orders—meaning Western Sydney residents will have no restrictions on exercise and outdoor recreation and be allowed to picnic in groups of five fully vaccinated adults. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the easing of restrictions at her press conference this morning saying, "From tomorrow, very pleasingly, all areas of concern will be equalised."

You can read more about the easing of restrictions for the hotspot LGAs here

As well as this, the Premier also revealed that all public outdoor swimming pools would be allowed to open from Monday 27 September, provided they have government-approved COVID safety plans. 

UPDATE: Thursday 9 September, 2021

  • A list of freedoms for vaccinated Sydneysiders revealed
  • "Freedom Day" will be the Monday after the state hits 70% double-dose coverage

Today Premier Gladys Berejiklian has revealed a long list of freedoms that will be granted to fully vaccinated Sydneysiders once the state hits its 70% double-dose vaccination rate. The news comes after both proof of vaccination certificates and vaccination passports (for international travel) are being pushed forward at pace by both state and federal governments. 

While there have been various reports about an end date for Sydney's lockdown, the Premier confirmed there was no set date the government was working towards. 

"Freedom Day", she said, would simply be the Monday following the day NSW hits that all-important 70% double vaccination target. 

At that time, stay-at-home orders will be lifted for double-vaccinated adults, children, and people with medical exemptions, the following new rules will apply:

  • Restaurants, cafes, and bars will reopen with a square metre rule (one person per 4 square metres indoors, one person per 2 square metres outdoors)
  • Retail stores will reopen with a square metre rule (one person per 4 square metres)
  • Gyms will reopen with a square metre rule (one person per 4 square metres), classes will be capped at 20
  • Hairdressers, nail salons, and beauty services will reopen with a square metre rule (one person per 4 square metres)
  • Large outdoor events will reopen with a square metre rule (one person per 4 square metres), capped at 5,000 people
  • Indoor events and cinemas will reopen with a square metre rule (one person per 4 square metres), capped at 75 people, everyone must be seated
  • Gatherings of up to five fully vaccinated adults will be allowed indoors (at homes)
  • Gatherings of up to 20 full vaccinated adults will be allowed outdoors
  • Travel within NSW will be allowed
  • Masks will remain mandatory in most public settings

For more information about how to get vaccinated in Sydney, jump over here

Keep scrolling for more information about current COVID-19 restrictions in Sydney. 

Update: Friday 27 August, 2021

According to a leaked report published in the Sydney Morning Herald, the NSW Government is currently working towards a "reopening" date of Monday 18 October. 

According to the publication, the government will soon begin trialling reopening "one-on-one industries such as hairdressing" for fully vaccinated people to prepare for a more generous easing of lockdown restrictions in mid-October.

These small-scale trials, held across September, will be "a litmus test" for other industries like hospitality. If all goes well, venues may be able to reopen to vaccinated patrons with capacity limits in play. 

Read more here

UPDATE: THURSDAY 26 AUGUST, 2021

  • Outdoor gathering restrictions for vaccinated Sydneysiders to ease in September
  • "Outdoor recreation" includes picnics outside of LGAs of concern
  • More freedoms to come when the state hits 70% vaccination

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has revealed that some restrictions will ease for fully vaccinated adults in Sydney, following the news that NSW hit its target of six million vaccinations. 

From Monday 13 September, if you live outside of the local government areas of concern and you are fully vaccinated, you will be able to gather in groups of five, as opposed to groups of just two. The 5km rule will remain in place. 

If you live within the local government areas of concern and you are fully vaccinated, from Monday 13 September, you will be allowed to gather outside for "recreation" for one hour only, in addition to the one hour allowed for exercise. The 5km rule will also remain in place. 

Today's announcement of a slight easing of restrictions comes after the government's redefining of "outdoor recreation" to include picnics. According to the NSW Government, "recreation includes outdoor leisure activities such as sitting for relaxation, or to eat, drink, or read outdoors".

On the topic of future freedoms and further easing of lockdown restrictions, the Premier said, "there are certain activities that only vaccinated people will be able to do."

These freedoms won't be in place until the state reaches 70% vaccination, which it is expected to do in early to mid-October, and will likely include going to restaurants and bars. The government is working on updates to the Service NSW app, which will allow you to both check-in and show your vaccination status at venues.  

Update: Monday 23 August, 2021

  • Relaxed rules for fully vaccinated Sydneysiders to be revealed soon

Last week, details for Premier Gladys Berejiklian's "Freedom Plan" for vaccinated residents of NSW were leaked via a report in The Australian. In the plan, once 70% of eligible adults have had two jabs, fully vaccinated Sydneysiders will be allowed freedoms like hitting the gym and going to restaurants, bars, and pubs. 

At her press conference this morning, the Premier revealed that NSW was on track to hit its target of six million jabs and that specifics of the "Freedom Plan" would be confirmed as early as Thursday this week.

"We will be able to communicate what additional freedom people may have once they get to full vaccination and during September," she said. "Both are a work in progress and we are consulting with the chief psychiatrist as well as the public health team to get the right balance."

The news comes as more vaccinations are being made available. From next Monday 30 August, Pfizer will be made available to everyone aged 16 - 39. From September, a supply of just-approved Moderna vaccines will also become available to Australians. 

The Lockdown Restrictions Currently In Place Across Greater Sydney

  • Face masks are now mandatory outdoors, as well as indoors, except if you are exercising
  • Exercise and outdoor recreation are limited to groups of five people so long as all those at the gathering aged 16 years or over are fully vaccinated. You must carry your proof of vaccination with you. 
  • If you are not vaccinated, you can exercise with 1 other person that you do not live with, or your nominated visitor ("singles bubble"), or members of your household
  • People must stay within their local government area, or within 5km from home for exercise and outdoor recreation
  • People must stay within their local government area, or within 5km for all essential shopping
  • Browsing in shops is prohibited; plus only one person per household per day may leave home for shopping
  • Funerals will be limited to 10 people

You can check your 5km radius here

Reasons You Are Allowed To Leave Home During Lockdown

With the above COVID restrictions in place, residents in lockdown in Greater Sydney are only allowed to leave their homes for the following reasons:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services (one person only)
  • Medical care or compassionate needs
  • Exercise with no more than two (unless members of the same household)
  • Essential work or education where you cannot work or study from home

Greater Sydney includes the entire metropolitan area, Wollongong, the Central Coast, Shellharbour, and the Blue Mountains.

From September, the Central Coast and Shellharbour will not be included and be counted as regional NSW.

More Information On Sydney's Lockdown Restrictions 

You can read more detailed info about the current restrictions here, and about NSW COVID case locations here

How To Get A COVID-19 Test In Sydney

If you are feeling unwell—stay home and get tested. You can find a testing clinic near you here.

How To Get Your COVID-19 Vaccination In Sydney

Keen to get vaccinated? Awesome! Here's how to get vaccinated in Sydney

And, if you need to stock up on face masks, we have you covered here

Image credit: Ethan Rohloff

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