The New South Wales government’s “roadmap to freedom” provides a glimmer of hope for a desperate live music industry.
Published today (Sept. 9), NSW Health’s much-vaunted plan is a crystal-ball-gazing exercise, a glimpse at what regular life should look like for fully-vaccinated locals when lockdown restrictions are lifted.
In that new phase of opening-up, indoor and outdoor venues will continue to operate with capacities and social-distancing rules.
For adults who’ve had two doses of COVID-19 jabs, the new rules should apply from the Monday after NSW reaches the 70% vaccination milestone, a statistic that, according to experts, meets the lowest-end of targets for herd immunity.
That “freedom” day date is fast approaching. Officials are pencilling-in late October.
ROADMAP TO FREEDOM UNVEILED FOR THE FULLY VACCINATED pic.twitter.com/oHVzfM6rsC— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) September 9, 2021
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When that happens, “major recreation outdoor facilities” including stadiums, can reopen with one person per 4sqm, capped at 5,000 people, a figure dwarfed by the gate for a major stadium concert or festival.
Also, capacities of 500 will apply for ticketed and seated outdoor events.
Social distancing rules will continue for “indoor entertainment” sites, including theatres and music halls, which will be allowed to reopen with one person per 4sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.
“Our roadmap,” says state Deputy Premier John Barilaro, “outlines the freedoms that twice vaccinated people will enjoy once we reach 70 per cent double doses, which means a meal with loved ones or a drink with friends is just around the corner.”
What the roadmap doesn’t do, however, is navigate the live industry into a space where it can operate free of restrictions.
Currently, NSW leads the country in vaccination rates. According to the ABC, NSW has a double-dose vaccination rate north of 42%, and the state has 18 of the top 20 regions for vax uptake.