Covid-19 NSW: Masks scrapped, QR codes scaled back and no proof of vaccination on rule changes

Everything you need to know about the big Covid changes coming to NSW in a few weeks – but don’t throw the masks away just yet

  • Major changes to the Covid-19 rules in NSW will come into effect on December 15
  • Masks are only needed in certain environments, such as airports and public transport
  • QR check-in codes are also reduced to only ‘risky’ locations
  • Residents are also not required to show their vaccination certificate in most environments










New South Wales residents will still be required to wear masks and check-in in some locations amid an easing of restrictions once the state reaches 95 percent dual vaccination coverage.

The new rules are expected to come into effect on December 15 and will mean residents will no longer be required to show proof of their vaccination status.

While masks are currently mandatory in all indoor settings except homes, they will soon be restricted to those on public transport, airports or airplanes, and for front desk personnel who have not been vaccinated.

Another big change involves the use of QR check-in codes that only apply to locations that are considered “high-risk”.

A series of Covid-19 measures will be lifted across New South Wales in just a few weeks as the state’s vaccination rate continues to rise. Masks are no longer required in most indoor environments (pictured, a woman in Bondi in lockdown)

CHANGES IN NSW COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS AT 95% VAXXED

MASKS

Masks are only required on public transport and airplanes, at airports and for indoor catering staff who are not fully vaccinated

QR CHECK IN

QR check-ins are only required in high-risk locations, including hospitals, facilities for the elderly and disabled, gyms, places of worship, funerals or memorial services, personal services (e.g. hairdressers and beauty salons)

Hospitality establishments such as pubs, small bars, registered clubs and nightclubs and for indoor music festivals with more than 1,000 people still need QR codes

VACCINATIONS

For most activities, proof of vaccination will no longer be required under the GGD (companies can still request proof at their own discretion).

For indoor music festivals with more than 1,000 people, a vaccination certificate remains mandatory.

No density limits (previously one person per 2 m²) 

Covid safety plans are optional for businesses and supported by SafeWork NSW

These locations include hospitals, gyms, beauty services, places of worship, airports, funerals, and aged care facilities.

Certain hospitality establishments, such as small bars and nightclubs, also require customers to check in.

NSW residents also no longer need to prove that they have been vaccinated for most activities.

Indoor music festivals with more than 1,000 people require a vaccination certificate, while companies get to choose whether they want visitors to be pricked.

Once the vaccination target has been met, people will only need to check in at 'risky locations' such as hospitals, gyms, beauty services, places of worship, airports, funerals and aged care facilities (pictured woman checking in to the Sydney location)

Once the vaccination target has been met, people will only need to check in at ‘risky locations’ such as hospitals, gyms, beauty services, places of worship, airports, funerals and aged care facilities (pictured woman checking in to the Sydney location)

Density limits for businesses and locations will also be dropped when the milestone is reached.

Mr Perrottet said NSW ‘leads the world’ when it comes to high levels of vaccination.

“Easing these restrictions will allow people to get out and enjoy the summer, boosting some of our toughest industries as we do everything we can to make sure we keep people safe as we learn to live with Covid.” , he said.

More than 92 percent of state residents ages 16 and older are now getting a double shot with NSW on track to meet their 95 percent vaccination target by December 15.

The state government has also announced changes to NSW school settings that no longer require close contacts of Covid cases to isolate.

Shoppers will no longer be required to wear masks when visiting malls once the 95 percent vax target is reached (photo, shoppers at Sydney's Pitt Street Mall)

Shoppers will no longer be required to wear masks when visiting malls once the 95 percent vax target is reached (photo, shoppers at Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall)

Students who get close contacts must immediately take a PCR test from Monday.

Once they test negative, students are allowed to return to school as long as they provide negative rapid antigen test results for the next seven consecutive days.

Schools are also no longer required to close for a deep clean or contact tracing unless multiple cases are identified.

“The people of NSW have worked hard to get to this point and the government has committed to reducing the nuisance to schools wherever possible,” said Perrottet.

“Schools have managed the pandemic extremely well. I would like to thank all the staff for the way they behaved and the efforts they made to reduce the impact of Covid on their students.”

Proof of vaccination is only required for indoor music festivals of more than 1000 people, but companies can still choose whether they need proof of vaccination for guests

Proof of vaccination is only required for indoor music festivals of more than 1000 people, but companies can still choose whether they need proof of vaccination for guests

The new changes are based on recent advice from the Doherty Institute and NSW Health, aimed at minimizing disruptions to education for students and families.

NSW Health, meanwhile, is continuing to roll out its vaccine booster program for residents 18 years and older who received their second dose six months or more ago.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said booster shots were important to maintain high levels of immunity among the community during the summer and New Years period.

“If you had your second Covid vaccination shot six months or more ago, you should book a booster now. Remember, if you’re not vaccinated at all, you’ll need to get the shot to protect yourself and your family,” Mr Hazzard said.

More than 92 percent of state residents aged 16 and over are now getting a double shot and NSW is on track to meet its 95 percent vaccination target by December 15 (pictured, Sydney Airport screenings)

More than 92 percent of state residents aged 16 and over are now getting a double shot and NSW is on track to meet its 95 percent vaccination target by December 15 (pictured, Sydney Airport screenings)

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