Premier Gladys Berejiklian today announced NSW will further ease COVID-19 restrictions across the State from Friday.
Ms Berejiklian said that after assessing the new framework from National Cabinet and discussing the NSW impacts with state Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant, it was safe for NSW to ease further restrictions as the community was vigilant with social distancing and hygiene.
“My firm position during the crisis has been to follow the health advice and do what’s best for NSW,” Ms Berejiklian said. “Our community has demonstrated that by working together we can achieve positive results.
“The changes will allow NSW to fire up the economy, while allowing more personal freedoms. “We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 rates, especially community transmissions, to guide us towards easing further restrictions.”
From Friday 15 May, the following will be allowed in NSW, in addition to measures already announced:
· Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people
· Cafes and restaurants can seat 10 patrons at any one time
· Up to 5 visitors to a household at any one time
· Weddings up to 10 guests
· Indoor funerals up to 20 mourners, outdoor funerals up to 30
· Religious gatherings/places of worship up to 10 worshippers
· Use of outdoor equipment with caution
· Outdoor pools open with restrictions
It is too soon to allow for regional holidays and ease further restrictions but NSW will continue to work with business and communities during the path forward. Dr Chant backed the move to cautiously lift the restrictions, and urged people to be vigilant.
“The chief health officers of the Commonwealth and States supported by experts have prepared advice on the way forward,” Dr Chant said.
“As we take this next step we need to continue to work together – governments, community, business and NGOs – with high rates of testing, social distancing and adherence to other public health measures like handwashing and staying at home if you show even slight symptoms.”
Ms Berejiklian thanked the community as the State embarked on this important step that would allow more businesses to open up and more people to stay in work. “NSW can only do this following the hard work and sacrifice of our communities,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It has allowed us to boost our intensive care capacity, ramp up our testing and enhance contact tracing so we can better manage any outbreaks.” Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the COVID-19 fight was far from over.
“Without a vaccine we need to be vigilant, especially when restrictions lift,” Mr Hazzard said. “There will inevitably be more cases, so social distancing will become even more crucial.” The NSW Government will consider steps two and three of the plan in due course.