NSW’s three-stage reopening

NSW has revealed a three-stage plan towards reopening, with key dates to look forward to in October and December.

Eased coronavirus rules will be made available to those who have had two vaccine shots once that cohort makes up 70 per cent of the state’s population, and more freedoms will become available at 80 per cent.

At 80 per cent,the new activities that will be made available for those who have had two coronavirus jabs will include having 10 visitors at home, playing community sports, and standing up and drinking at pubs.

There will be a third reopening stage in December – and those who haven’t been vaccinated will have to wait until then to take advantage of some of the freedoms.


On the Monday after 70 per cent of NSW residents are vaccinated, a raft of restrictions will ease.

According to the website covidlive, that milestone could be reached as soon as October 6, meaning October 11 would be the date stage one kicks in.

When that goal is reached, pubs, retail stores and gyms are meant to open again, but only for the fully vaccinated.


On the Monday after 80 per cent of NSW residents have had two shots, more restrictions will ease for that group of people.

That goal could be reached as soon as October 15, meaning October 18 could be the day stage two restrictions are implemented.

International travel caps will also be reconsidered, meaning it’s likely more people will be able to leave and re-enter Australia.

One freedom that has been postponed from the 70 per cent target to the day the state reaches 80 per cent is regional travel.

The government’s crisis cabinet has decided it wants to wait to let Sydneysiders travel to the regions until 80 per cent of the whole state has been double-jabbed.

Most indoor activities will need to adhere to the 4 sqm rule, meaning person will need to have two square metres to themselves.

Here are the new rules expected to be implemented at 80 per cent – only for those who are fully vaccinated:

Gatherings indoors and outdoors

  • Up to 10 visitors will be allowed in a home (plus children 12 and under)
  • Up to 20 people can continue to gather in unregulated outdoor settings
  • Up to 200 people can attend Covid-safe events
  • Up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated events
  • Community sport activities permitted
  • Major outdoor facilities such as stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can have a maximum of 5000 visitors, subject to the 4 sqm rule – and exemptions will be available
  • Entertainment venues such as cinemas and theatres can operate under the 4 sqm rule, or at 75 seated capacity, whichever is larger
  • Libraries, galleries and museums will be able to operate subject to the 4 sqm rule
  • Nightclubs and amusement centres will remain closed

Pubs, gyms and stores

  • Retail stores will be able to operate under the 4sqm rule
  • Beauty parlors, barbers, massage services and tattoo artists will be able to admit as many people as they can fit, as long as the 4sqm rule is followed
  • Pubs and other hospitality venues will be subject to the 4sqm rule indoors, but outdoor areas can be twice as packed (2sqm to each patron)
  • Drinking standing up will be allowed both indoors and outdoors
  • Group bookings will be limited to 20 people
  • Gyms (but not indoor pools) will be able to admit up to 20 people per class, and operate according to the 4sqm rule

Working from home

  • Employers must continue to allow fully vaccinated employees to work from home if it’s reasonably practicable
  • However those who aren’t fully vaccinated will have to keep working from home, unless it isn’t reasonably practicable


  • People from greater Sydney will be able to visit regional NSW again
  • Caravans and camping grounds can operate
  • Carpooling is permitted

Weddings, funeral and places of worship

  • There will be no cap of how many people can attend a wedding or funeral, as long as everyone is fully vaccinated and the 4sqm rule is followed
  • Dancing at weddings will be permitted, as will eating and drinking while standing up
  • The unvaccinated will be able to attend wedding ceremonies with a maximum of five people, but no receptions – and funerals with a maximum of 10 people
  • Places of worship such as mosques and churches will be subject to the 4sqm rule
  • No singing in places of worship will be allowed


From December 1, even those who are not vaccinated will be able to take advantage of some freedoms previously only available to those who have been jabbed.

It’s not clear yet exactly what the unvaccinated people will be able to do.

However for the fully vaccinated, the December freedoms will include:

  • venues will move from the 4 sqm rule to the 2 sqm rule – meaning each patron at a bar will only have to have two square metres to themselves.
  • masks won’t be necessary in offices anymore
  • nightclubs and other venues will reopen
  • indoor pools will reopen

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