Australians vaccinated against Covid-19 can begin normal activities today while those not vaccinated must wait until December 1 to resume normal life.
Outgoing New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the government would remove all its tough anti-covid restrictions December 1 but many businesses and organizations may still shun unvaccinated customers. She noted many organizations already have mandatory vaccine policies in place, separate from state mandates.
“A lot of airlines have said they won’t carry unvaccinated passengers,” she said in a TV interview shortly before she resigned office earlier today. “A lot of businesses have said they won’t welcome anyone who is unvaccinated. I want to be very clear: Life for the unvaccinated will be very difficult, indefinitely.”
New South Wales has implemented tough policies to combat the spread of Covid-19, like much of Australia. Government officials said Monday their lockdown restrictions for restaurants, bars, and gyms will be lifted and they will be able to reopen to vaccinated people Oct. 11, when 70% of the population is expected to be fully vaccinated.
All Australians will be able to resume normal life without government restriction beginning December 1.
“Nine out of ten of us are already vaccinated in New South Wales,” said Berejiklian. “That’s huge.” She said December 1 is the date the country will learn to live with Covid going forward.
“Doesn’t that remove the incentive to get vaccinated,” an Australian TV anchorwoman for the Sunrise network asked. “They only have to wait six weeks.”
The premier responded she expects New South Wales will be 80 percent double-dosed by the end of October. The premier referenced the Dougherty report that said unvaccinated people could safely mingle with vaccinated people when the 80 percent level was reached but added she wanted to extend the waiting period another four or five weeks.
“So, actually, we’re being very conservative,” said Berejiklian.
Easing restrictions will likely reduce unrest like the protests that sprang up in major cities across Australia last month. The protests came hours after a lockdown in Sydney was extended until the end of September to slow the spread of a Covid outbreak. Syndey is the capitol of New South Wales.
Authorities also imposed a curfew on two million residents in the city’s worst-hit suburbs.
Sydney residents have been under stay-at-home orders since late June.
Not long after her interview regarding the easing of Covid restrictions in New South Wales, Berejiklian announced in a televised address she was resigning her office as Premier and her seat in Parliament. Berejilian said she had little choice but to resign after a corruption watchdog said it was investigating whether she was involved in conduct that “constituted or involved a breach of public trust”.
The outgoing Premier denied any wrongdoing and said history will reflect that she always performed her official duties with the highest integrity.
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