NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the government will release the full details of its freedom roadmap this week, including how and when the unvaccinated can come out of lockdown.
- NSW is projected to hit 70 per cent double dose vaccinations by October 6
- The Premier was hesitant to label easing of restrictions as ‘freedom day’
- Eight of the nine COVID-19 deaths were unvaccinated
The Premier urged the state to “hold the line” as it recorded nine deaths and 961 COVID-19 infections in the 24 hours to 8:00pm on Saturday.
Ms Berejiklian said 85 per cent of the eligible population in the state had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
She said the government would this week be announcing more freedoms and citizens could look at November to “plan a trip that you may not have been able to have” before.
“There is not long to go before NSW starts approaching that 70 per cent double-dose figure and I ask everybody to please hold the line,” she said.
“I do want to foreshadow that the NSW government is very close to finalising our roadmap for 80 per cent double dose, but also our roadmap as to when unvaccinated people will be able to participate in greater activity.”
An ABC analysis projects that NSW will hit its 70 per cent milestone for double doses on October 6, meaning fully immunised citizens will be given extra freedoms — such as visiting hospitality venues and hairdressers — from Monday, October 11.
The government has previously said the state would hit 80 per cent fully vaccinated within two or three weeks after that.
“I think the community will be very pleased, firstly to have that certainty, to know that we are just a few weeks away from doing all of those things we have missed for months,” the Premier said.
“I don’t want to be a party pooper by saying there is no such day as ‘freedom day’ but our re-opening and finding COVID normal will be a step-by-step process.
“It will not happen in a day, it will take a couple of weeks or months for us to go starting to open up to what COVID normal looks like and that the responsible way to do things.”
Ms Berejiklian said activities and freedoms for the unvaccinated would come at a later date and the government would be working with small businesses to help manage compliance checks.
The Premier said that, while cases in Sydney’s west and south-west were seeing a downward trend, cases were rising in the Illawarra and Central Coast.
She said health authorities were not yet ready to call the COVID-19 peak at the 1,599 cases recorded on September 11 because they could not account for any further superspreader events.
However, the current rolling averages were “encouraging”.
On Friday night, a video posted on social media showed hundreds of maskless partygoers mingling and drinking at Bondi Beach, near where the Delta outbreak began on June 16.
NSW Police said it had dispersed the crowds but did not issue any fines.
The Premier said the Bondi party was a “matter for police” but she said the updates she was receiving from law enforcement were positive and officers were observing increased compliance.
Of today’s deaths, one person was in their 40s and the rest were between their 60s and 80s — all but one were unvaccinated. That person had had their first dose.
Across NSW, 85.2 per cent of the population aged over 16 years has received a first dose COVID-19 vaccine, with 59.2 per cent fully vaccinated.