Covid Australia: Mandatory mask policy dropped in NSW

Packed dancefloors, wild weddings and NO more masks as major changes are made to NSW’s coronavirus rules – here’s everything you need to know

  • New South Wales has lifted wedding and funeral caps and with visitors to homes
  • Mandatory face masks on public transport will move to ‘strongly recommended’
  • Millions will also be allowed to hit the dance floor and sing their hearts out
  • The major easing of restrictions will come into effect from 12.01am on Monday

Major changes to coronavirus rules are being made in New South Wales, bringing an end to mandatory face masks and allowing weddings and dancing to be enjoyed in unlimited numbers.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the changes on Wednesday as the state went eight days without a locally-acquired Covid infection.

Millions will also be allowed to hit the dance floor and sing their hearts out when the changes come into effect at 12.01am on Monday.

Face masks on public transport will also move from ‘mandatory’ to ‘strongly recommended’ from next week.

Millions will be allowed to hit the dance floor and sing their hearts out when the changes come into effect at 12.01am on Monday

Millions will be allowed to hit the dance floor and sing their hearts out when the changes come into effect at 12.01am on Monday

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the changes on Wednesday as the state went eight days without a local Covid infection

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the changes on Wednesday as the state went eight days without a local Covid infection

There will be no cap on visitors in the home but if the amount exceeds 100 there must be a Covid safety plan in place and the details of visitors must be electronically recorded.

Weddings and funerals will no longer be subject to caps. There will be a 100 per cent seated capacity at entertainment venues including stadiums and theatres, meaning a return to full crowds.

All venues across the state will move to a one person per two square metre rule as part of the changes.

Ms Berejiklian said the easing of restrictions will only work if the community commits to acting in a Covid-safe way.

‘It means good social distancing, most importantly, it means registering QR codes wherever we go. That is the key to our success,’ she said.

‘If there is an outbreak and we can’t identify all the people in a particular venue, we will be having to go backwards again and I don’t want to see that happen.’

Face masks on public transport will move from 'mandatory' to 'strongly recommended' from next week

Face masks on public transport will move from ‘mandatory’ to ‘strongly recommended’ from next week

Weddings and funerals across New South Wales will no longer be subject to caps from Monday

Weddings and funerals across New South Wales will no longer be subject to caps from Monday

The premier warned they would ‘up compliance’ in the coming weeks to ensure businesses are registering all visitors with the QR codes.

‘There are harsh penalties for people, for businesses and organisations, who don’t comply with the QR codes,’ she said.

‘And we will come down hard on businesses and individuals if that is not maintained, because compliance and keeping CovidSafe is key to this.’

Ms Berejiklian said the vaccine rollout across the state is ‘going well’ despite flooding on the mid-north coast and west of Sydney.

All venues across the state will move to a one person per two square metre rule as part of the changes. Pictured: A group of friends are seen at the Holey Moley Golf Club in Darlinghurst, Sydney, on March 12

All venues across the state will move to a one person per two square metre rule as part of the changes. Pictured: A group of friends are seen at the Holey Moley Golf Club in Darlinghurst, Sydney, on March 12

She said all quarantine workers had now received their first Pfizer shot and many were getting their second.

‘We are also moving on to vaccinate the families of the quarantine workers in addition to frontline health workers,’ the premier said.

‘So every day that we move forward the risk is reducing.’

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the easing of restrictions would help support jobs across the state.

‘Today we take another big stride in the right direction, easing restrictions is important in helping businesses return to normal, it’s like a jab of confidence for the economy,’ he said.

COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS TO EASE IN NEW SOUTH WALES

From 12.01am on Monday March 29:

  • No caps on weddings and funerals
  • No restrictions on singing
  • No restrictions on dancing including at weddings and in pubs and nightclubs
  • No cap on visitors in homes
  • 200 people allowed for personal outdoor public gatherings
  • All venues to move to one person per two square metre rule
  • 100 per cent seated capacity at entertainment venues including stadiums and theatres
  • Mask use including on public transport will move from ‘mandatory’ to ‘strongly recommended’

NSW went 55 days without a local Covid infection before a hotel quarantine security guard contracted the virus on March 13.

The last local case was recorded on Wednesday March 17 when a hotel guest – whose infection was genomically linked to the security guard – tested positive to Covid.

Partygoers were briefly allowed on the dance floor back in December when Covid restrictions were eased.

But an outbreak on the Northern Beaches, which spread across the city, promptly led to the tightening of rules and thousands were plunged into lockdown for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

There have been 5,081 coronavirus cases recorded across NSW since January 25, 2020 and 56 deaths.

Face masks were mandatory at the beginning of the year after an outbreak on the Northern Beaches spread across Sydney

Face masks were mandatory at the beginning of the year after an outbreak on the Northern Beaches spread across Sydney

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