In a recent announcement, the New South Wales government has claimed that it will lift restrictions for both unvaccinated and vaccinated citizens as of 1 December.
While discrimination between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals will continue past the 80% vaccination mark, expected to be reached on 24 October, government restrictions for all citizens will be eased as of 1 December.
The premier wanted to highlight that the announcement should be considered ‘very disappointing’ by unvaccinated people. According to her estimation, they would have been anticipating a complete lifting of restrictions at 80% vaccination.
“I think they assumed that once we hit 80 per cent double dose that they would have certain freedoms.”
“If you are not vaccinated you will have to wait at least four or five weeks after we’ve already hit the 80 per cent double dose rate in order to participate in things that the rest of us can participate in,” Gladys Berejiklian announced in her most recent press release.
7News summarised the ‘third stage’ changes to restrictions as follows:
Gatherings in the home and outdoor public spaces
- No limit on the number of visitors to a home
- Density will shift to one person per 2 sqm for indoor and outdoor settings
- No limit on the number of people who can attend informal outdoor gatherings
- COVID Safe plan required for outdoor events with more than 1,000 people
- Community sport is permitted for all people.
Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms
- Retail stores can operate at one person per 2 sqm
- Personal services such as hairdressers, spa, nail, beauty, waxing, tattoo and massage can operate with one person per 2 sqm
- Hospitality venues can operate with one person per 2 sqm inside and outside, with no seating required for eating and drinking
- Gyms and indoor recreation facilities, including indoor pools, can operate with one person per 2 sqm (uncapped)
- Intimate services can open with one person per 4 sqm
Major outdoor recreation facilities
- Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can operate with one person per 2 sqm.
Entertainment, information and education facilities
- Entertainment facilities (including cinemas, theatres, music halls) can operate with one person per 2 sqm
- Information and education facilities (including libraries, museums and galleries) can operate with one person per 2 sqm
- Amusement centres and nightclubs can open with one person per 4 sqm.
Working from home
- Working from home will be at the employer’s discretion.
- All year groups return to face-to-face learning.
Weddings, funerals and places of worship
- One person per 2 sqm for weddings with dancing permitted and eating and drinking allowed while standing
- One person per 2 sqm for funerals
- Churches and places of worship can operate with one person per 2 sqm, with singing permitted.
- Domestic travel, including trips between Greater Sydney and Regional NSW
- Caravan parks and camping grounds can operate
- Carpooling is permitted
- Quarantine settings for vaccinated arrivals will be altered. A cap on unvaccinated travellers may remain.
- Masks wearing will be mandatory while travelling on public transport, on planes and at airports, and for front-of-house hospitality workers
- Mask wearing is not required when outdoors.
The new NSW Government Fact Sheet can be found here.
Hon. Tanya Davies MP, the member for Mulgoa, reacted to the changes on a viral Facebook post:
“Your voice is being heard,” she stressed.
“More needs to be done. But this is another step in the right direction.”
These latest government changes come in light of particularly decisive opposition from Christian groups and leaders, who have spoken out against government mandates for Church attendance.
Wherever Christians stand on the issue of vaccines, it is critical that they continue to speak up for the freedom of their neighbours, particularly when it comes to participation in the life of the Body of Christ.
Image by Maryland GovPics on Wikimedia Commons.