Sydney-CBD-mask-off
  • NSW has reached its 70% double vaccination target
  • Restrictions will ease for fully vaccinated adults
  • Property Council hopes to see the CBD reactivate and recover with the changes

Today New South Wales will take the first steps in easing COVID-19 restrictions after passing its 70% double vaccination target for over-16’s last week.

On what has been dubbed as “Freedom Day” for NSW, the state recorded 496 new local cases – well below Victoria which announced 1,612 new cases and eight deaths today.

Fully vaccinated adults will now be able to enjoy more freedoms as part of the State government’s reopening roadmap.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the common-sense changes would help life return to normal as soon as possible.

“Vaccinations are the key to life returning to normal and the changes today will get businesses back up and running sooner,” Mr Perrottet said.

The Property Council of Australia’s (PCA) NSW executive director Luke Achterstraat said people will be encouraged to return to the office since facemasks are no longer required.

“The commercial building owners have invested heavily to ensure offices are clean and safe places for people to attend.

“Masks are recognised as a proxy for working from home. Today’s announcement is a strong signal from the Premier that the return to office is imminent and is an important part of supporting our CBDs to relaunch”

Luke Achterstraat

Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said, “the faster we can safely reopen, the lower the long-term economic and social costs of lockdowns will be.”

Office Occupancy in Lockdown

The Property Council of Australia’s survey of office building owners and managers found occupancy levels of Sydney’s CBD remained at 4% of pre-Covid levels.

Overall level of occupancy in office buildings as a percentage of the pre-COVID rate

CBD

Percentage

Sydney CBD

4%

Melbourne CBD

6%
Canberra

8%

Brisbane CBD

51%
Adelaide CBD

64%

Perth CBD

76%

Darwin CBD

89%

Hobart CBD

89%

Source: Property Council of Australia

Mr Achterstraat said, “between now and Christmas, our collective role is to show leadership in the return to office and build confidence in the return to CBD, through investment initiatives such as the Cahill Expressway highline activity, and the State Government’s investment in Friday CBD dining vouchers.”

Regional Areas

Deputy Premier Paul Toole said workers in regional areas who have received one vaccination dose will be permitted to return to their workplace and will be given a grace period until November 1 to receive their second dose.

“This move ensures we get businesses in the regions re-opened and local economies buzzing again,” Mr Toole said.

Blue-Mountains-NSW
Areas outside of Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour, and the Central Coast are where regional changes apply. Image – Canva.
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