WATCH LIVE: Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet holds press conference as COVID-19 restrictions relax in New South Wales
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet had his hair cut and enjoyed a beer in the pub as he welcomed the easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated residents of New South Wales on Monday.
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet called on New South Wales residents to ‘treat everyone with kindness and respect’ as state reopens to fully vaccinated people more than 100 days after Greater Sydney was submerged for the first time in the coronavirus lockdown.
Mr Perrottet spoke to the media about the easing of restrictions at the opening of Watson’s Pub in Moore Park in Sydney on Monday – the state’s “freedom day”.
“It’s been a hundred tough days, but the efforts that people have put in across the state, to get out, to get vaccinated, made this big day possible,” he said.
“There are going to be challenges, we know that. I call again on everyone in our state to treat everyone with kindness and respect, to take personal responsibility.
“There will be no doubt that there will be some start-up issues, but there will be a lot of young people today pulling beers, serving tables in restaurants and cafes, doing it for the first time and doing it for the first time. will adapt to a new system. So please be patient and watch out for them as we go through this time. “
The prime minister, who has held the state’s most senior position for just under a week, held the press conference after getting his hair cut at Barberhood.
NSW’s reopening to fully vaccinated people on Monday comes after 70% of the eligible population last week rolled up their sleeves for two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Pubs, restaurants and cafes have reopened, subject to capacity limits and social distancing restrictions.
Fitness enthusiasts are also allowed to return to the gym, 10 people can visit a house, while weddings and funerals can accommodate up to 100 people.
Personal services such as hairdressers, beauty salons and massage parlors have also reopened with density limits of up to five clients.
Mr Perrottet reiterated that there will be “challenges” as the state emerges from lockdown on Monday.
“It’s not just a health crisis, it’s also an economic crisis,” he said.
“New South Wales is pulling the country out of this pandemic. There will be challenges.
“We have to keep people safe. As you know, there are rules in place and there are always restrictions in place. They are not there for fun, they are there because we obviously want to make sure. that we take care of healthy people. “
Residents of Greater Sydney have been under stay-at-home orders since June 26 following an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta strain.
Across New South Wales, 90.3% of the eligible population have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine while 73.5% are now fully vaccinated.
The prime minister warned that reopening the state would lead to an increase in local COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, but the government has invested “significant sums” in the health system.
“But we cannot remain closed. We cannot remain closed. We must learn to live alongside the virus,” Perrottet said.
“The best thing people can do to protect themselves during this pandemic is to get vaccinated. It’s the best way to protect yourself, to protect your family and friends.
“There will be challenges as we go through this time. There will be an increase in the number of cases, an increase in hospitalizations, we have to open up and come back to the life before. I am very confident that we have them. structures in place to make sure we did it safely.
NSW recorded 496 local COVID-19 infections on Monday and eight additional deaths.
Deputy Premier Paul Toole also thanked residents of NSW for rolling up their sleeves for two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“You have helped us take this important step today,” he said.
“Today I know there is a lot of hope, there is a lot of optimism in our communities. And this is the day we have all been waiting for.”
Mr Perrottet was also asked if he was disappointed that former Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian was unable to celebrate with the NSW government.
“Oh, it’s disappointing. Gladys, as you know, has guided us through this pandemic,” he said.
“And it’s a big day for the state. I’m sure we’re all disappointed that she isn’t here to celebrate this big time with the people of NSW.”
The Prime Minister added that the NSW government was working with the Morrison government to potentially bring forward the date for the reopening of the international border.
“We cannot live here as a hermit kingdom halfway around the world, we want Australians to come back,” he said.
From Monday, October 11, 2021, relaxed restrictions in New South Wales will allow those who are fully vaccinated to have:
- Limit of 10 visitors to your home
- access Gyms, indoor recreational and sports facilities
- group bookings of up to 20 people in a hotel environment.
- all premises will function at the rate of one person for four m² inside and one person for two m² outside.
People under the age of 16 who are not fully vaccinated are allowed unaccompanied at their place of work and in all outdoor locations, but must be with a fully vaccinated member of their household in the reception areas (except in the case of take-out), entertainment facilities, major facilities and places of worship, unless they work on site.
For regional NSW facilities with vaccination requirements for staff and clients, staff may return to work on October 11 if they have received at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but must be fully vaccinated before November 1, 2021.
See the full list of relaxed restrictions here.