Sydney residents who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 risk being barred from various social activities and events even when the current lockdown ends in December, New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned on Tuesday.
Under a roadmap to exit lockdown in Sydney, unvaccinated people are already subject to delays in freedoms that will be gradually granted to vaccinated residents between October 11th and December 1st.
Berejiklian said people who refuse to get vaccinated could be barred entry to shops, restaurants and entertainment venues even after the state lifts all restrictions against them on December 1st.
Berejiklian told Seven News on Tuesday: “A lot of businesses have said they will not accept anyone who is unvaccinated. Life for the unvaccinated will be very difficult indefinitely.”
The two-tier system, which is designed to encourage more people to get vaccinated, has been criticised for discriminating against vulnerable groups who have not been able to get access to the vaccine and for failing to provide a real incentive for the “vaccine-hesitant.”
On October 11th, pubs, cafes, gyms and hairdressers will reopen to fully vaccinated people in New South Wales, home to Sydney, and more restrictions will be relaxed once 80% of its adult population becomes fully vaccinated, which the government expects to be by the end of October.
Both Sydney and Melbourne are stuck in lockdowns, and Australia is pursuing a faster reopening through higher vaccination rates.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt welcomed the New South Wales roadmap and urged people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“The strongest possible reason to be vaccinated is to save your life,” Hunt said.