The NSW Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro has confirmed parts of regional NSW, including most of the New England North West, will emerge from lockdown on Saturday 11 September.
LGA’s deemed low risk and which have seen zero COVID-19 cases for at least 14 days will be allowed freedoms, but under tough restrictions.
John Barilaro said regional communities’ incredible job in following health advice and getting vaccinated made the easing of lockdown in some areas possible.
He said the decision is based on NSW Health advice and locked down communities will continue to be monitored.
“Today, I can announce that while unfortunately many regional LGAs will remain in lockdown due to COVID case numbers, for other parts of the state, stay-at-home orders will be lifted allowing more freedoms for those communities,” Mr Barilaro said.
“This decision is based on NSW Health advice, and the LGAs which remain in lockdown will continue to be monitored and we will update those communities on a regular basis.
The Deputy Premier has urged everyone to get vaccinated, stating “when NSW reaches 70 and 80 per cent, restrictions can ease significantly” for all.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson has applauded the decision to lift lockdown in appropriate regions, including his Tamworth electorate.
“This is a great win for our communities who have worked so hard to stay safe and abide by the public health orders since being locked down several weeks ago.
“It’s also a great win for our business who have been decimated by the lockdown, this will give them a chance to once again open up and get our people back on the job and providing much needed services.
“It’s a huge relief for those families who have been separated, those who have been feeling isolated and those who are desperate to catch up with their friends. I am deeply concerned about the mental health of our community and that’s why this freedom is important,” said Mr Anderson.
The local MP warned about finding ourselves in a lockdown again and urged the community to use all the tools available to prevent another lockdown. Mr Anderson pointed to vaccination as the key defence.
He said “beyond vaccination, I am calling on everyone to continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and use QR codes”.
Regional NSW has been in lockdown since August 15 after the Sydney outbreak begun to spread. Stay-at-home orders will remain in place in the following LGAs:
Lithgow Maitland Mid-Coast Mid-Western Muswellbrook Narrabri Narromine Newcastle Orange Parkes Port Stephens Queanbeyan-Palerang Shellharbour Shoalhaven Singleton Snowy Monaro Upper Hunter Walgett Wingecarribee Bathurst
Residents in LGA’s not listed above are required to adhere to ongoing restrictions including a maximum of 5 visitors allowed inside a home and up to 20 people only allowed to gather in public outdoor settings.
Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front of house hospitality, and retail and business premises. Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors.
Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule.
Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at 5 clients per premise.
Gyms and indoor recreational facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
Porting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.
Schools will reopen with Level 3 COVID Safe measures in place.
Please visit: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19 for more information.