This week, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed a list of freedoms that will be granted to fully vaccinated adults once the state hits 70% double-vaccination rates.
"Freedom day", as it has been dubbed, and the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions for vaccinated Sydneysiders, will come the Monday after that state-wide target is hit, which is currently predicted to land sometime around mid to late October.
The earliest of freedoms will arrive this Monday 13 September, with the limit on outdoor gatherings increased from two to five people if you live outside of the LGAs of concern, provided everyone has been double jabbed. If you live within one of the council areas of concern and are vaccinated, you'll be allowed to gather outside for "recreation" for one hour with your household, in addition to the one hour allowed for exercise. In both cases, the 5km rule still applies.
The obvious catch with all of the above, of course, is that you're going to need to prove you've been vaccinated. How do you do that exactly? Where do you find your vaccination certificate? What will you be able to do if you are vaccinated and when? We've got you covered right here.
Why Do I Need A COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate?
Just like a proof of age card allows you access into licensed venues for being over 18, your vaccination certificate will act as proof of vaccination to police, health authorities, and retail and hospitality businesses when NSW starts to reopen. Yes, that means if you're stinging for a freshly shaken margarita at your local ASAP, you'll need to prove you're double jabbed.
Your proof of vaccination will let you return to pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, large outdoor events, cinemas, your mate's house, and even allow you to travel within NSW. And while we patiently wait for the numbers to reach 70% and beyond, you'll also need your vaccine certificate handy to enjoy the picnicking benefits starting this Monday 13 September.
How Do I Find My COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate?
Now you're asking, how do I get myself one of these magic certificates that will let me play with my friends? First of all, you'll only have access to one after your second jab.
After that, if you're 14 or older, eligible for Medicare and you have access to a smartphone, there are two ways to prove you're double-vaccinated. Both of which are a lot easier if you've linked your Medicare card to your myGov account—so, make sure that's done first.
Option 1: The Express Plus Medicare Mobile App
We're all pretty familiar with using apps for sign-ins nowadays, so this one is a sinch. First, you need to download the Express Plus Medicare app on your phone and log in using your Medicare details.
You'll then select "immunisation history" and "view COVID-19 digital certificate", which will only appear after your second jab is registered.
After that, all you have to do is add that certificate to your Apple Wallet for iPhones or "save to phone" for Google Play. Easy!
Option 2: Medicare Online Account Via MyGov
If for any reason you can't use this app, jump online and sign in to your myGov account using your phone's internet browser.
From there, click into "Medicare" in "services"—and the rest is the same as above. Select "view immunisation history" and add the document to your Apple Wallet or "save to phone".
What If I'm Not Eligible For Medicare?
No worries! You can still add a vaccine passport to your digital wallet through the "Individual Healthcare Identifiers" service online with myGov. It works the same as the previous two options.
What If I Don't Have A Smartphone?
You can either ask your vaccination provider to print you out an official immunisation history statement or call the Australian Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809 to send you a statement.
What Will I Be Able To Do After "Freedom Day" If I Am Vaccinated?
As mentioned above, according to the latest update from Premier Gladys Berejiklian, when NSW hits its 70% double vaccination target, 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
You can read more about NSW's roadmap to "freedom" for the fully vaccinated here.
How To Get Your COVID-19 Vaccination In Sydney
Keen to get vaccinated? Awesome! Here's how to get vaccinated in Sydney.
For the latest COVID-19 advice and updates, head over here.
Image credit: Destination NSW