NSW has brought forward its reopening plan to increase visitors allowed in homes, crowds at weddings and funerals, and for all students to return to classrooms earlier.
The state has now reached 70% of the population over 16 being fully vaccinated.
New premier Dominic Perrottet, speaking from the vaccination centre in Homebush, said the state would begin reopening on Monday as previously planned.
But emphasising the state was in an “economic crisis too” he said the roadmap would allow for 10 adults in homes, double the previous number, and 30 people could gather outdoors, up from 20 people.
The number of people able to attend weddings and funerals has increased from 50 to 100 people.
“We know that this has been a very difficult time for people who have lost their loved ones,” Perrottet said.
NSW will also bring forward the date when all students will return to classrooms, now occurring on October 25, previously planned to extend into November.
“That’s great for kids. It’s a major relief for parents and their sanity,” Perrottet said.
The changes follow a meeting of the NSW crisis cabinet on Wednesday, with the government renaming the cabinet the COVID and Economic Recovery Committee from now on.
Asked whether the changes had the support of the health authorities, Perrottet said every change had approval.
“These are sensible changes worked through with [the chief health officer] and the health team, [with] approval of the health team [and with] approval of the cabinet ministers,” Perrottet said.
Further changes include that when NSW reaches the 80% vaccination mark in its roadmap, people will not be required to wear masks in offices.
Perrottet flagged that while caps for major events would remain at 5000 people, exemptions could be granted for organisers with COVID-safe plans.
The freedoms at 70% and 80% will continue to be for fully vaccinated people only.
The new premier, who was sworn in this week, had flagged that he would honour NSW’s planned reopening day for Monday but had acknowledged there were aspects of the roadmap to consider.