The Riverina will be one of a number of regions to be removed from the regional NSW lockdown on Saturday after it was deemed a low-risk area.
The lifting of the stay-at-home orders was announced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro during Thursday morning's COVID-19 press conference, as was the NSW roadmap to reopening once the state's double-dose vaccination rate hits 70 per cent.
Parts of regional NSW currently deemed low risk, and which have had zero COVID cases for at least 14 days, will emerge from lockdown at 12.01am on Saturday.
The confirmation of the change to the lockdown came after reports of the Riverina's imminent release emerged in the hours following Wednesday's crisis cabinet meeting.
However, while the stay-at-home rule no longer applies, a number of strict restrictions remain in place across the region. [Scroll down to see the full list of changes].
"For the areas coming out of lock down, you are not coming back to a pre-lockdown environment," Mr Barilaro said.
IN OTHER NEWS
"There will be capacity limits for our hotels, cafes and restaurants, including the four square metre rule, mask wearing, social distancing.
"There is rules around certain activities that won't recommence. Community sport won't be permitted yet."
Mr Barilaro has also warned areas where COVID-19 cases are recorded would be placed into snap lockdowns. He said the emergence of a new case will lead to a minimum 14-day lockdown.
Local government areas that have COVID cases will continue to follow stay-at-home orders and will be monitored by NSW Health.
"While unfortunately many regional LGAs will remain in lockdown due to COVID case numbers, for other parts of the state, stay-at-home orders will be lifted allowing more freedoms for those communities," Mr Barilaro said.
"This decision is based on NSW Health advice, and the LGAs which remain in lockdown will continue to be monitored and we will update those communities on a regular basis."
RULE CHANGES AT A GLANCE
The new rules, which come into effect from 12.01am on Saturday for all people in regional LGAs where stay-at-home orders have lifted, include:
Gatherings in the home and public spaces
- Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home (not including children 12 and under).
- Up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings.
Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms
- Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
- Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule.
- Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.
- Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
- Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.
- Schools will reopen with Level 3 COVID-safe measures in place.
Stadiums, theatres and major outdoor recreation facilities
- Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4sqm, capped at 5000 people.
- Up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated outdoor events.
- Indoor entertainment and information facilities including cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries can reopen with one person per 4sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.
Weddings, funerals and places of worship
- Up to 50 guests can attend weddings, with dancing permitted and eating and drinking only while seated.
- Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking while seated.
- Churches and places of worship to open subject to one person per 4sqm rule, with no singing.
- Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.
- Carpooling will be permitted.
- Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports.
- Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors.
- Children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors.
The stay-at-home orders WILL REMAIN IN PLACE in the following local government areas
- Broken Hill
- Central Coast
- Central Darling
- Goulburn Mulwarre
- Lake Macquarie
- Port Stephens
- Snowy Monaro
- Upper Hunter
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