New South Wales residents can look forward to a slight relaxation of lockdown rules next month – but it's a two-edged sword for the regions.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the vaccination milestone of six million reached this week would allow for a small renewal in freedoms for residents with the jab.
Here's what you need to know.
From September 13, households living in the NSW government's LGAs of concern will be allowed to spend an additional hour of recreation outdoors, as long as all adults in the household are fully vaccinated.
This is on top of the already-permitted hour of exercise, meaning households will be able to visit a park, Ms Berejiklian said.
However, people must take this hour within the current and ongoing curfew hours, which will continue.
Outside the LGAs of concern, through the rest of Greater Sydney and regional NSW, five people will be allowed to gather outdoors, as long as all adults are fully vaccinated.
This will also come into effect from September 13.
Those five may be from different households, but people will still have to adhere to the LGA/5km radius rule.
Ms Berejiklian said to take advantage of the new freedoms, people would need to demonstrate proof of vaccination.
All other rules, including mask-wearing, social distancing, and no visits to households, will remain in place.
As cases continue to grow in western NSW, Ms Berejiklian said lockdown for regional NSW would be extended until at least midnight on Friday, September 10.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro apologised to people in communities with no COVID-19 cases, but said the restrictions were possibly what was keeping the disease away.
What comes next
As part of the roadmap when the following targets are hit, freedoms will be as follows, A NSW statement said.
- 70 per cent full vaccination: a range of family, industry, community and economic restrictions to be lifted for those who are vaccinated.
- 80 per cent full vaccination: further easing of restrictions on industry, community and the economy.
Ms Berejiklian said businesses and industry needed to prepare for a 70 percent vaccination level throughout the state.
"That's when things will start to open up," she said.
She said businesses should once more prepare a COVID safety plan, including QR code check-ins.
Ms Berejiklian said the NSW government was also working on an app that would allow people to sign in to a business or venue in a way that would also confirm their vaccination status.
An announcement on a return to safe schooling will be made tomorrow.