NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announces COVID re-opening roadmap changes to masks, indoor pools

CAPS on numbers at weddings, funerals and gatherings in homes will double under a revised NSW COVID roadmap, Premier Dominic Perrottet has revealed.

Indoor pools will be open from Monday among the raft of fresh changes revealed on Thursday, while schools will return earlier and masks will be mandatory in offices only until 80 per cent double vaccination.

Nightclubs will also open for seated drinking only, with dancing off the cards until December 1.

None of the changes offer more freedoms to those who are unvaccinated.

Mr Perrottet said reopening remained slated for Monday to create "stability and certainty" for businesses who had been planning towards that timing.

"If there are always sensible changes, we'll pursue them," he said.

"We're not just going to be dogged here."

Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant was not present at the announcement, but Mr Perrottet said the adjustments were "supported by the health system".

"Every change to this roadmap has been supported and approved by [NSW] Health," he said.

NEW APPROACH: Dominic Perrottet became the new Premier of NSW on Tuesday after a meeting of MPs backed him for the job.

NEW APPROACH: Dominic Perrottet became the new Premier of NSW on Tuesday after a meeting of MPs backed him for the job.

Deputy premier Paul Toole confirmed regional workers can return to work with one dose of vaccination, with a grace period until November 1 for them to receive a second dose.

"This move ensures we get businesses in the regions re-open and local economies buzzing again. It's about ensuring we make this a roadmap that works for everyone," Mr Toole said.

It follows concerns from Labor that those measures, first revealed on Sunday, had been wound back.

Mr Toole also confirmed regional NSW residents could travel to other regional areas, but Sydney residents remained shut off from leaving that city.

Schools will return completely by October 25 with COVID safety measures, with the first stage of returns to begin from October 18.

Kindergarten, year one and year 12 students will go back first but will quickly be followed by their classmates.

"All school children will return to school by the 25th of October," Mr Perrottet said.

"That's great for kids, and it's a major relief for parents and their sanity."


Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said she understood parents may be "a bit nervous" but the return would be handled safely.

"Principals have received detailed guidance and checklists of everything required to ensure COVID-safe settings in their school," she said.

"Parents and carers will also receive a detailed guide today and more specific information from their school in the coming days."

Mr Perrottet said home visitations and outdoor gatherings would also grow, with home visits doubling to a cap of 10 not including children under 10 from Monday.

Under the new rules outdoor gatherings can comprise up to 30 vaccinated people while weddings and funerals will be capped at 100 vaccinated guests rather than the 50 initially flagged.

"We know that this is not just a health crisis, it's an economic crisis as well," he said.

"It's going to be a difficult road ahead, we know that, but come Monday NSW gets back on track as we start to open up."

Mr Perrottet confirmed the state had surpassed the 70 per cent mark double vaccination, and said 80 per cent was still expected in late October.

At 80 per cent the state will remove the need to wear masks within offices, with a 3000 cap of major events to stay but exemptions can be sought for particular venues rather than the 500 mooted previously.

The premier said that change would reduce the number of applications by focusing on how venues, rather than individual events, handled COVID safety.

"The health minister will look through those," Mr Perrottet said.

Mr Perrottet had earlier flagged mandatory masks as an impediment to the return to offices in an interview with ABC 24's breakfast program.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard revealed there had been 587 new cases in NSW, and flagged the 11am case numbers would be revealed earlier after today.

This story Here is what the premier has changed in the NSW COVID roadmap first appeared on Newcastle Herald.