While the full “roadmap” out of lockdown is yet to be revealed by the state government, there are some tantalising details that have been dropped by NSW officials in recent days about how and when some degree of normality might be returning to Sydney.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has promised freedoms for the vaccinated once 70 per cent of eligible adults have been double jabbed. At this key benchmark, hospo venues, gyms, hairdressers and certain retail will be allowed to open, but these businesses will need to screen patrons for their vaccination status prior to entry. In order to ensure only vaccinated people can take advantage of these freedoms, the state government is in the process of developing a vaccine passport system, linked to the Service NSW check-in app that is already in widespread use across the state.
However, as the federal government’s problematic Covid Safe app proved, if the technology is not perfected by the time it is released to the public, it could become impossible for authorities to enforce its use. Therefore, some pubs in the areas of Sydney with the highest levels of vaccination will be opening in late September or early October to fully vaccinated patrons only, as the state trials its new vaccine passport software.
However, despite having some of the highest rates of vaccination in the state to date, the trail will reportedly not be rolled out in Sydney’s 12 hotspot LGAs, where more than 80 per cent of the state’s cases have been located. Suburbs that are being earmarked for the pilot phase of the vaccine passport include Mosman, the Northern Beaches and areas in the Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury LGA.