Lockdown restrictions across parts of regional NSW are set to ease on 12:01 am Saturday, September 11, however, the Southern Highlands and parts of the Southern Tablelands will remain locked down.
Wingecarribee Shire Council, Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Queanbeyan-Palerang will remain in lockdown.
Yass Valley Council and Upper Lachlan Shire Council will have restrictions lifted on September 11.
The announcement was made by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro at the 11 am press conference on Thursday, September 9.
Mr Barilaro said regional communities were doing an incredible job following health advice and getting vaccinated which made the easing of lockdown in some areas possible.
"Today, I can announce that while unfortunately many regional local government areas (LGAs) will remain in lockdown due to COVID case numbers, for other parts of the state, stay-at-home orders will be lifted allowing more freedoms for those communities," he said.
"This decision is based on NSW Health advice, and the LGAs which remain in lockdown will continue to be monitored and we will update those communities on a regular basis.
"My strong advice to everyone in regional NSW is to get vaccinated as soon as you can. Our communities need to continue to get vaccinated so that when NSW reaches 70 and 80 per cent, restrictions can ease significantly."
Stay-at-home orders will remain in place in the following LGAs:
- Broken Hill
- Central Coast
- Central Darling
- Goulburn Mulwaree
- Lake Macquarie
- Port Stephens
- Snowy Monaro
- Upper Hunter
Across the Southern Highlands and the Southern Tablelands, residents didn't think they would come out of lockdown by September 11.
On a Southern Highland News Facebook post dated September 8, residents expressed their views.
Krystal Turner commented that she didn't like the odds.
"It would be nice to hope so but I don't like our odds of coming out, think she will give us another two weeks," she wrote.
Akasha-Jade Barker felt that it wouldn't be a good idea to open up.
"Active cases and 200 close contacts possibly infectious in the community? It'd be a recipe for absolute disaster if they opened us up now," she wrote on the Facebook post.
Over on the Goulburn Post Facebook page, Goulburn residents shared similar insights.
Jim James Catt said that with active cases, he didn't think the region would open up.
"This is killing small business in town. People are hurting," he said.
Kate O'Neill also felt restrictions wouldn't be lifted.
"Not a chance, not a week before school holidays, not so close to Canberra and Sydney, not with local cases," she said.
Residents who live in the Yass Valley Council and Upper Lachlan Shire Council LGAs, restrictions have been eased.
The following freedoms will be available to all people in regional LGAs where stay-at-home orders have lifted:
Gatherings in the home and public spaces:
- Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home (not including children 12 and under).
- Up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings.
Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms:
- Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
- Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule.
- Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.
- Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
- Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.
- Schools will re-open with Level 3 COVID Safe measures in place.
Stadiums, theatres and major outdoor recreation facilities:
- Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4sqm, capped at 5,000 people.
- Up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated outdoor events.
- Indoor entertainment and information facilities including cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries can reopen with one person per 4sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.
Weddings, funerals and places of worship:
- Up to 50 guests can attend weddings, with dancing permitted and eating and drinking only while seated.
- Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking while seated.
- Churches and places of worship to open subject to one person per 4sqm rule, with no singing.
- Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.
- Carpooling will be permitted.
- Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports.
- Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors.
- Children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors.
Across NSW, 1405 people tested positive for COVID-10 and more than 156,000 people were tested for COVID-19 up until September 8, 8 pm.