Today’s announcement by the Premier and Deputy Premier is great news for New South Wales, but in particular our regions.
On the whole we have sacrificed a lot and done a tremendous job to flatten the curve when it comes to the transmission of COVID-19, and I am pleased that restrictions are starting to be eased so we can get back to somewhere near normal.
In regional NSW, and in the Dubbo electorate, we have not had any confirmed cases of COVID-19 for many weeks, and today’s announcement means our communities can start to do a lot more of the things we did prior to the lockdown.
That helps our workers, our business owners, increases social interaction and ensures some vibrancy returns to our towns and cities.
FURTHER COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS SET TO EASE FROM 1 JULY
Restrictions imposed during COVID-19 will be further eased next month with strict social distancing rules, the NSW Government announced today.
From July 1, the new rules keeping the state COVID-Safe mean:
The number of people allowed inside indoor venues will be determined by the ‘one person per 4 square metre’ rule, with no upper limit. This includes function centres and places of worship. All activity must be seated only.
Cultural and sporting events at outdoor venues with a maximum capacity of 40,000 will be allowed up to 25 percent of their normal capacity. Events must be ticketed and seated and follow strict guidelines.
On compassionate grounds, restrictions on funerals will immediately be eased to allow the four square metre rule to apply.
All other restrictions including 20 guests inside the home and 20 for outside gatherings remain the same.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said NSW was able to further ease restrictions due to the limited community transmission of COVID-19.
“The community has worked incredibly hard over the past few months which has allowed us to be where we are today,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“However we can’t let our guard down. People need to come forward for testing with the mildest of symptoms and practise good hand hygiene and social distancing.”
Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello have consulted with peak business, industry and community bodies on the changes as part of the Government’s reopening strategy.
“We are keen to open the economy in a COVID-safe way. The government will also be considering solutions for smaller venues, particularly in regional NSW, where the 4m2 rule is not practical for small businesses,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The July 1 measures will allow vital community hubs in the regions to open, such as showgrounds, providing a big boost for communities many of which are still recovering from the devastating impacts of drought and the bushfires.”
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said rebooting these sectors of the economy was vital for the state’s economic recovery.
“We have made the investments needed in our health system and now we need to get our economy firing on all cylinders,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Allowing these centres, facilities and venues to safely open will provide a significant boost to the economy and help keep more people in jobs and businesses in business.”
Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the government would be helping business and industry open safely through a variety of simple and easy to use tools through Service NSW.
“We recently launched the online COVID Safe Check, which is simple to use and helps businesses continue to build their hygiene and compliance plans by checking and testing their safety plans – more than 30,000 businesses have already downloaded a COVID Safety Plan template,” Mr Dominello said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard urged the community to be mindful of their own health as well as the health and well-being of their families and fellow citizens.
“We still need to be vigilant because we have to assume the virus hasn’t gone, and there is no vaccine or treatment on the immediate horizon,” Mr Hazzard said.
“So I encourage people to go about their daily lives, enjoy playing sport or a night out visiting friends but do it in a COVID safe way – maintain physical distancing, good hygiene and if you feel unwell stay home and get tested.”
Music festivals, nightclubs and bars will continue to remain closed in July as the Heath advice remains that these venues and activities pose a high risk of the virus spreading.
It is anticipated that restrictions will be eased further in August if community transmission of the virus remains low.
For the latest information please go to nsw.gov.au/covid-19