John Barilaro says NSW government cannot rule out more lockdowns
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has refused to confirm the state has had its last lockdown despite vaccination rates climbing at a rapid rate.
The state is edging towards its goal of 80 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated, with current figures showing almost 86 per cent of people have had their first dose while 60.5 per cent have had both doses.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has repeatedly said once the state hit 80 per cent fully vaccinated, most freedoms would return including international travel.
However, Deputy Premier Barilaro was less confident appearing on Sunrise on Tuesday morning when asked to guarantee if NSW will never enter another lockdown.
“The reality is I can‘t guarantee everything, we have no crystal ball,” he said. “We don’t know what’s around the corner.”
NSW residents have been in lockdown since late June and who have made a concerted effort to get vaccinated.
NSW is projected to hit the target of fully vaccinating 70 per cent of adults on October 6, and the Monday after that some freedoms are expected to be given back to fully vaccinated people such as going to the pub and getting a haircut.
But the Deputy Premier said the government would retain the power to plunge areas into snap lockdowns.
“We said in the road map that we will hold the powers to have suppression orders put in place and a very localised level,” he said.
“It might be minimising travel for a little period for a local postcode or an LGA, at a very localised level, but not statewide.
“But on the settings we have in place, and nothing abnormal or different happening, there is no reason we should go into a statewide or regional-wide lockdown.
“I’m confident that the days are gone and we will (not) have a statewide lockdown.”
It comes after the government revealed its long-awaited road map to come out of the pandemic in accordance with vaccination rates reaching 80 per cent, which is projected to happen around mid-October.
Freedoms include allowing fully vaccinated people from Sydney being able to travel through regional NSW, people having 10 visitors in their home, drinking while standing up in pubs (which will operate under the rule of one person per 4 square metres indoors and one person per 2 square metres outdoors) as well as community sport resuming.
Originally published as John Barilaro says NSW government cannot rule out more lockdowns
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