NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has told everyone to start preparing to open back up as vaccination numbers continue to climb. It’s yet another hint of what we can look forward to later this year and, yes, international travel is on the cards.
While lockdown won’t suddenly vanish, some restrictions are set to ease a bit when 70% or 80% of people in the state are fully-vaxxed. It was a glimmer of hope after the state recorded 1,116 COVID-19 cases and four deaths overnight.
“I want to remind everybody that September is the month when we’re asking everybody to get ready. If you’re a business, start dusting off your COVID safety plan,” Berejiklian said at the daily coronavirus presser on Monday.
“Make sure your employees are vaccinated so we can get back to life at 70% double-dose vaccination which we anticipate will happen somewhere around the middle of October.
“That’s the date we’re working towards. Initially it was the end of October but because of the rates we’re seeing people come forward, that could be as early as mid-October.”
Current estimates place that date around October 18, give or take.
NSW recorded 1,116 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. pic.twitter.com/pweTEuCGbn— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) September 1, 2021
The freedoms are set to get even better at 80% full vaccine coverage.
“When we hit the 80% double-dose number, which we anticipate will be in November, NSW looks forward to having our citizens enjoy international travel and NSW looks forward to stepping up and welcoming thousands of Australians home who have been waiting to come home for a long time,” Berejiklian said.
“Once you hit 70% double dose numbers, hotel quarantine looks different. The way we manage the disease is different. Tracking and tracing is different and I’m having these conversations now with everybody so we can get used to what life is like living with COVID.”
She added: “We can look forward to all the things we missed out of nearly two years.”
In the meantime, you know the drill: stay at home where possible, get tested if needed, and get vaxxed as soon as you can.
To that end, Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital gastroenterologist and therapeutic endoscopist Dr Ahmad Alrubaie was Tuesday’s special guest at the press conference, and he pointed out that it’s everyone’s responsibility to do their bit in order to slow the spread of the virus.
“Don’t listen to any social media. Don’t listen to YouTube. Don’t listen to any WhatsApp networks,” he said.
“The only reliable source and trust the source is the information from the health authorities from health professionals and from sites you can get, including the health.nsw.gov.au website.
“Talk to your GP. Talk to your specialist if you have any concern about the vaccine.
“Our communities in general are tired and many are concerned, but we are strong, we are resilient and we are confident that we will get through this.”
All adult Aussies (yep, even if those of us under 40) are currently able to get vaccinated. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor for more info.
The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.