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NSW authorities expected to unveil state’s roadmap out of COVID-19 lockdown

NSW residents will soon learn their path out of COVID-19 lockdown with the state government preparing to release its long-promised roadmap of freedoms.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian will reveal the details of the plan on Thursday after receiving sign-off from the state government’s crisis cabinet on Wednesday evening, according to media reports.

Greater Sydney has been locked down since 26 June as authorities battle the Delta variant of COVID-19, with the rest of the state joining the stay-at-home regime last month.

Ms Berejiklian has vowed that an easing of the lockdown will start once 70 per cent of the state’s over-16 population has received two doses of the vaccine.

With more than 75 per cent of the population now at least partly immunised against the virus, that threshold is expected to be met in mid-October.

Bars, restaurants and retail settings should reopen – with capacity limits – on 18 October, according to a report in The Australian.

Some regional areas may trial aspects of re-opening before that date.

The premier on Wednesday said she was putting the “final touches” on the roadmap.

“The roadmap is essentially in good shape, we’ve made great progress,” she said.

The state reported 1,480 new local COVID-19 infections on Wednesday and nine further deaths, including a man in his 20s from western Sydney who authorities said was not vaccinated and had “serious underlying health conditions”.

An Aboriginal Elder from Dubbo in western NSW was also among the deaths reported.

The move to reopen comes as authorities express concern for a recent spike in infections in inner-city Sydney suburbs, including Glebe, Waterloo, Redfern and Marrickville. Residents in those areas are also being encouraged to come forward for vaccination.

Outdoor gatherings of up to five fully immunised people will be allowed from Monday outside hotspot areas.

Meanwhile, the mid and north coast of NSW, and the Riverina region in the south west, will be released from lockdown on Friday, the ABC reports.