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A man in a barbers having his hair cut by a barber in a mask
Photograph: Delfina Pan/Unsplash

Date of NSW 'freedom day' revealed, but perks for the fully vaxxed could come sooner

A pilot scheme will allow some one-on-one industries to reopen for fully vaccinated patrons and staff

Maxim Boon
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Maxim Boon
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Add it to your calendar folks: October 18 is set to be NSW’s 'freedom day', according to details leaked to the Sydney Morning Herald. An unnamed senior minister has reportedly revealed that this is the date when the NSW government hopes to lift lockdown restrictions, provided vaccination uptake remains at current levels and 70 per cent of eligible adults in the state are double jabbed.

However, fully vaccinated people could be enjoying some freedoms even sooner than October. The NSW government is considering allowing certain businesses to reopen to fully vaccinated patrons before the state reaches the crucial 70 per cent fully-vaxxed target, according to the Herald. The small-scale pilot will allow one-on-one industries, such as hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons to reopen, but both staff and customers will need to produce proof of vaccination. 

The initiative, which could begin as early as next week, is being pitched as a trial to establish the kind of infrastructure and protocols businesses will need to screen the vaccination status of their customers ahead of a more widespread unlocking of the city on October 18.

NSW currently has one of the fastest vaccination uptakes in the world, as the promise of perks for fully vaccinated people has encouraged many to book their jabs. State premier Gladys Berejiklian had promised “additional freedoms” for the fully vaccinated once the state achieved six million doses in arms. However, many people were left disappointed by the underwhelming announcement that from September 13, certain outdoor recreation rules will be slightly relaxed.

While people across the state eagerly await the easing of lockdown settings, case numbers in NSW continue to climb, with the state recording 1029 cases in 24 hours on August 26, the highest daily tally ever recorded by any Australian state or territory. 

Have you had your vaccination yet? Here's how you can book your jab in Sydney right now.

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