Changes to the NSW Government's road map to freedom mean an earlier return to school, more people allowed to visit households, and a grace period for the regional workforce to be fully vaccinated.
The newly anointed deputy premier Paul Toole said the grace period was an acknowledgement of the difficulty some residents had in accessing a vaccine in regional NSW.
"This move ensures we get businesses in the regions re-open and local economies buzzing again," Mr Toole said.
From Monday October 11 the 70 per cent rules come into effect and non-essential businesses can reopen with some COVID safe changes, including allowing entry only to people who are fully vaccinated.
The changes mean workers must have one dose by Monday, and have until November 1 to get their second.
Other changes include:
- 10 visitors are allowed to a home, not including children 12 and under (previously it was five)
- 30 people allowed in outdoor gatherings (previously it was 20)
- Increasing the cap on weddings and funerals to 100 (previously it was 50)
Schools also return earlier - the first students to return to classes from October 18, but remaining students will now be returning by October 25.
The NSW Premier also announced that indoor pools could open from Monday, which has been welcomed by the Dubbo RSL Health Club.
"We're so excited, we've missed everyone, all our members and guests," manager Carmen Appleby said. "We're ready, we're keen, all the staff are keen to get everyone back there.
"You can feel safe because everything has been cleaned and we're wearing masks. It's a perfect time of the year - you don't have to worry about the magpies. We have a capacity limit on how many people are allowed in the pool, and you will still have to keep your 1.5m distance."
As well as the indoor pool, the fitness club will also be open for use, exercise classes will have a 20-person limit and the squash courts will be available for hire.
Western NSW LHD Chief Executive Scott McLachlan is "confident we've got a lot of things in place" to cope with an expected rise in case numbers, but said residents should remain cautious.
"The most important thing is people have to really think about how we engage with each other, how much contact we have with others," Mr McLachlan said.
"The basic thing for all of us is, take all of the precautions that we know will keep us safe."
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