Covid-19 Australia: NSW to try to reopen hairdressers to see lockdown easing progress

So we CAN get a haircut? NSW to ‘taste’ the reopening of hairdressers as part of an experiment to see how lockdown easing progresses when 70 percent prick rate is reached

  • Hairdressers in NSW reopen as part of trial for wider easing of restrictions
  • Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian did not announce a reopening as expected on Thursday
  • But the NSW government is planning small-scale trials for service companies
  • Trials for fully vaccinated people expected to be ‘litmus test’ for easing lockdown
  • Broader relaxation of rules expected in October with 70 percent Covid vaccination










Hairdressers in NSW will reopen to residents who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as part of a trial in preparation for wider easing of restrictions, when 70 percent of the state have had both doses.

Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian did not announce the reopening of hairdressers and salons on Thursday, as expected, but eased collection limits for fully vaccinated individuals in relatively virus-free parts of the state from Sept. 13.

But she is also considering testing industries where both customers and staff are vaccinated to prepare for a bigger hospitality reopening in October.

Those small-scale ‘trials’ are expected to be a litmus test for the large-scale easing of hospitality industry capacity limits, as long as they are not linked to high transmission levels.

Hairdressers in NSW are reopening to residents who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as part of a trial in preparation for wider easing of restrictions. Pictured is a hair salon in Melbourne during the pandemic

The trial will prepare NSW for wider easing of restrictions when 70 percent of the state has had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.  Pictured is a masked resident in the Campbelltown LGA on Thursday

The trial will prepare NSW for wider easing of restrictions when 70 percent of the state has had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. Pictured is a masked resident in the Campbelltown LGA on Thursday

NSW reported 1,029 local cases of Covid-19 and three deaths from the virus on Thursday – a record peak in cases in any Australian state or territory during the pandemic.

But the state leader marked October 18 as the day when her state will reach a 70 percent vaccination rate, leading to further easing of lockdown measures.

Ms Berejiklian has convened industries, including pubs and restaurants, to prepare for the mid-October date, which is seven weeks away.

In the meantime, health officials remain concerned about the virus circulating in the community, with only 33 percent of people fully vaccinated and particularly in regional areas.

Gas stations, takeaways and supermarkets are the latest areas of concern – with eight new exposure sites unveiled in areas outside Sydney following the announcement of an extension of the lockdown for regional NSW until at least September 10.

An Officeworks pizza shop and a Domino’s in Dubbo were among the list, after 25 cases of the virus were discovered in the area on Thursday.

Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced on Thursday an easing of collection limits for fully vaccinated people in relatively virus-free parts of the state from Sept. 13.

Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced on Thursday an easing of collection limits for fully vaccinated people in relatively virus-free parts of the state from Sept. 13.

Greater freedoms are coming for vaccinated residents of NSW, with the government allocating an October 18 date for the state's reopening (photo, masked Sydneysiders in lockdown)

Greater freedoms are coming for vaccinated residents of NSW, with the government allocating an October 18 date for the state’s reopening (photo, masked Sydneysiders in lockdown)

A Woolworths in Wellington (pictured) was exposed to Covid nine times from August 15 to August 23

A Woolworths in Wellington (pictured) was exposed to Covid nine times from August 15 to August 23

LATEST NSW COVID EXPOSURE SITES

Anyone who attended this venue is an informal contact and has to isolate himself until they get a negative result.

Windaal: Windale Takeaway – Saturday 21 August, 17:35 to 17:45

Wellington: Metro Petroleum – Sunday, August 22, 10:30 AM to 10:40 AM

Wellington: Coles – Sunday, August 22, 9:20 AM to 10:15 AM

Dubbo: Officeworks – Wednesday, August 18, 4:45 PM to 5:00 PM

Dubbo: Dominos Pizza – Wednesday, August 18, 6:55 PM to 7:10 PM

Berkeley: Coles – Saturday, August 21, 11:10am to 11:25am

Orange: 7-Eleven Molong Road – Saturday, August 21, 2pm to 10pm, Friday, August 20, 2pm to 10pm

Orange: 7-Eleven Bathurst Road – Saturday, August 21, 7am to 3:15pm

More informal contact locations were also identified at a gas station and Coles in Wellington after a Woolworths in the central-western city issued nine Covid-19 warnings from Aug. 15 to Aug. 23.

All shoppers who visited the exposure sites at the stated times should be tested and self-isolate until they get a negative result.

Health bosses are now only publicly listing exposure sites outside of Greater Sydney, claiming they pose a ‘greater risk’ to regional communities.

Greater freedoms for vaccinated Australians, meanwhile, will be granted in the coming weeks as the state plans its roadmap out of the brutal lockdown.

More than 80 percent of Thursday's new cases were found in Sydney's west and south-west (pictured, shoppers in Ashfield in the city's inner-west)

More than 80 percent of Thursday’s new cases were found in Sydney’s west and south-west (pictured, shoppers in Ashfield in the city’s inner-west)

Outdoor gatherings of up to five immunized people living outside the LGAs of concern will be allowed from Sept. 13, including an additional hour of outdoor recreational activities for immunized residents in hot spots.

While the government admitted that a jump to 80 percent vaccination coverage was difficult, they were convinced that 70 percent is a more realistic target.

Ms Berejiklian said she was committed to giving people freedom despite the skyrocketing number of cases.

“We are a government that assesses the risks, but also assesses our desire to live with this virus,” she said.

“We know that getting people together is what people miss most.”

“Of the several options we looked at, that was the one that met the mental health and well-being needs of our community, but also provided the lowest-risk environment.”

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