The NSW Government finally revealed the roadmap to recovery on Monday 27 September in order to lift the COVID-19 lockdown heavily criticised for discriminatory rules for restrictions between different areas of greater Sydney.
Residents in the so called areas of concern in general and those from Sydney’s South West have been critical of over policing including mounted police on suburban streets with helicopters constantly flying over and frequent ID checking at shopping centres and instances of excessive use of force by police.
The roadmap is dependent on the vaccination rates and will be fine-tuned by NSW Health with the monitoring of the COVID-19 situation over the coming weeks.
“Vaccination remains our ticket to freedom so we need to work even harder to get jabs in arms, to help stop the spread, minimise outbreaks and ensure people are protected when we open up,” Premier of NSW, Ms Gladys Berejiklian announced.
From the Monday after NSW hits the 80 per cent (aged 16 and over) double dose vaccination target, eased restrictions will allow those who are fully vaccinated to have up to 10 people visit their home, participate in community sport, and access hospitality venues with all premises operating at 1 person per 4sqm indoors, and 1 person per 2sqm outdoors.
With vaccination rates reaching 70% hopefully by Monday 11 October, up to five visitors will be allowed inside homes while up to 20 visitors can gather outdoors, all to be fully vaccinated.
Places of worship including mosques will reopen and accomodate everyone even in LGA’s of concern when vaccination rate hits 80%, by Monday 18 October with increase in number of visitors at home.
It is understood that by Wednesday 1 December further changes will be introduced including no limits to visitors at home, all venues moving to the 2sqm rule, masks will not be required indoors at offices, indoor pools and unvaccinated people will have greater freedoms.
Multicultural NSW has been actively engaged in bringing together community leaders, health authorities and state government minister and officials for consultations and dissemination of information in order to work together in coping with COVID-19 pandemic.
With community concerns of over policing and incidences of alleged police brutality, the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) has conducted a number of webinars inviting community leaders and Imams to express their concerns with police commanders in various areas.
Moreover community forums are being conducted to discuss policing issues in South West Sydney seeking advice from lawyers and social workers in order to maintain community harmony and solidarity in fighting the pandemic.
A number multicultural organisations and media outlets have organised webinars to debunk vaccination myths, engaging trusted medical professionals emphasising the need for all adults to get vaccinated.
These efforts have already resulted in desired outcomes where the vaccinated rates in suburbs populated by migrant communities has skyrocketed, ensuring safety for all with some evidence that infection rates in NSW have now peaked and are coming down together with reduction in hospitalisations.