New South Wales tweaks rules for double jabbed

Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) announced on Tuesday that many restrictions for fully inoculated people would end three weeks earlier than previously intended, in response to the faster-than-expected rate of vaccination.

Many of the changes scheduled for Dec. 1, such as no limit on visitors to a home, no rules for outdoor gatherings with fewer than 1,000 people, and indoor swimming pools reopening for all purposes, will be brought forward to Monday, Nov. 8.

Businesses will be able to welcome in more fully vaccinated customers with all premises to move to one person per 2-square-meter rule, and nightclubs will be able to re-open dance floors.

The earlier ease of restrictions came as the state is steadily ramping up its fully vaccinated rate. As of Oct. 31, 87.8 percent of NSW residents aged 16 have been fully vaccinated while 93.6 percent received first doses. For residents aged 12 to 15, 62.3 percent were fully vaccinated and 79.3 received first doses.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said he still wanted to see the inoculation rate climb up to “around 95 percent”.

To achieve that goal the government is motivating unvaccinated people to roll up their sleeves for their two jabs.

Initially, the NSW government had said “freedoms” would be returned to unvaccinated people by Dec. 1, but Perrottet said they would now have to wait until Dec. 15 or whenever the vaccination rate reached 95 percent.

“Our vaccination rates have been key and, ultimately, we want to get to a point where NSW is open and free and we believe the changes we have made today enable that to occur,” he said.

Meanwhile, the daily figures of NSW continue to trend down from their peak in September, with 173 new cases and four deaths recorded on Tuesday.

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