Australian state outlines roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions

SYDNEY, Australia -- Authorities of the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) unveiled further details of a roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions as the state has seen a stabilization of its local transmissions.

A person walks on an empty street in Sydney, Australia, on July 14, 2021. (Xinhua/File)

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told Monday's press conference that the state is expected to reach 70 percent double dose on Oct. 11 and 80 percent about a fortnight after.

From Monday, after NSW hits the 80-percent double doses vaccination target for people aged 16 and over, eased restrictions will allow those who are fully vaccinated to have up to 10 people visit their home, participate in community sport, and access hospitality venues. All premises will operate at one person per 4 square meters indoors, and one person per 2 square meters outdoors, according to the roadmap unveiled by the state.

The roadmap also made some adjustments to previous policies based on updated health advice. Regional travel will not be allowed until the full vaccination rate reached 80 percent, and a booking cap has been introduced for hospitality venues of 20 people per booking.

"Vaccination remains our ticket to freedom so we need to work even harder to get jabs in arms, to help stop the spread, minimize outbreaks and ensure people are protected when we open up," Berejiklian said.

The premier said the double dose rate of the state is now at 60 percent.

She also said the state would be a "COVID-19 normal state" by Dec. 1 which means further changes will be introduced including all venues moving to the 2 square meters rule, masks will not be required indoors at offices, indoor pools and nightclubs can reopen, and unvaccinated people will have greater freedoms.

"We believe by Dec. 1, we will be at that COVID-19 normal state where, hopefully, we will be booking our international travel once the prime minister gives that green light, we will be able to go overseas as well."

The roadmap came as NSW was seeing a stabilization of its local transmissions. The state recorded 787 new locally acquired cases on Monday, the first time in about one month that the daily increase of locally acquired COVID-19 cases has been below 800.

The state also recorded 12 deaths, half of which were not vaccinated.