A new plan will ensure NSW residents can get out and about this summer in a COVID-safe way, while keeping the economy moving.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes, Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello, Member for Manly James Griffin and NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant outlined the NSW Government’s new COVID Safe Summer Plan this morning.
The Plan supports local businesses by encouraging more outdoor dining in the lead up to the Christmas-New Year period and throughout the summer months.
It also provides clear instructions to help keep COVID under control as residents enjoy the warmer months.
“We know how much our community loves fresh air, beaches and parklands, but we will all need to do that a bit differently this summer,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The COVID Safe Summer Plan encourages the community and local businesses to take advantage of our glorious warm weather while using public spaces safely.
“In NSW we are continuing to try to get the right balance between keeping the State open for business, while keeping control of the virus.”
The Plan has five pillars which will help support the current public health orders, rules and regulations:
· Marking out safe distancing in our parklands and highly visited public spaces from the beginning of October,
· Encouraging all beachgoers to ‘Keep a beach towel length between you’ (1.5 metres) and anyone not from the same household,
· Running a COVID Safe summer program of events in our parklands and public spaces,
· Encouraging local businesses to take advantage of outdoor dining, and
· Partnering with councils on a ‘new local’ campaign, to showcase alternative public spaces for the community to enjoy.
Mr Stokes thanked local councils who are already keeping the community safe as the warmer months arrive.
“Our councils are leading the way, by trialling approaches on their beaches like changing parking arrangements and creating safe swimming areas so that beaches remain safe and welcoming places for the community,” Mr Stokes said.
“Sydney is the greatest parkland city on earth, and the pandemic has emphasised how important it is for our well-being that we all have access to public spaces and parklands. This plan ensures a common-sense approach.”
Mr Dominello said COVID safety must be the priority of every citizen and business owner this summer.
“While summer is a time to get out and about and spend time with friends and families, we cannot be complacent because we are still in the midst of a pandemic. We must all remain vigilant and look out for each other,” Mr Dominello said.
“We need people to continue to do the simple things. Whether it’s maintaining good hand hygiene, keeping physical distance, wearing a mask in public places where physical distance can’t be maintained and using digital check-in solutions such as the Service NSW app – these behaviours are now part of the new normal. We can’t afford to drop our guard over the summer months.”
Mr Griffin said NSW will lead the way in showing the world how to still enjoy the summer while remaining COVID Safe.
“We don’t need to retreat indoors this summer – we just have to do things a little differently so we can enjoy places like the Northern Beaches and stay safe,” Mr Griffin said.
Dr Kerry Chant said outdoor activity was inherently safer than indoor activity.
“People need to remember to stay home, isolate and get tested if they have symptoms, always practice good hand hygiene and maintain one and a half metre social distancing,” Dr Chant said.
The COVID Safe Summer Plan can be accessed here: https://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/premiers-priorities/great-public-spaces/covid-safe-summer.