Sydney unveils roadmap out of COVID-19 lockdown

The Australian state of New South Wales - home to the major city of Sydney - unveiled a road-map out of COVID-19 lockdowns on Monday.

State leader Gladys Berejiklian said in a news briefing, the "staged reopening" gives residents different levels of freedoms, depending on their vaccination status:

"For those of us who are fully vaccinated at the 70 percent double dose life will feel so much better. Life will feel, getting back to normal.

And obviously a number of things kick in at 80 percent, including community sport, regional travel and a whole range of other things.

Then on the first of December, will be the final stage of reopening where unvaccinated people will be able to participate."

Berejiklian also revealed that 60 percent of over-16s in New South Wales are now fully inoculated, well above the national average of 52 percent.

Officials in Sydney expect to reach their 80 percent target by the end of October based on current vaccination rates.

On Monday, the state eased some of its restrictions, allowing construction sites to return to full capacity, and outdoor swimming pools to reopen with social-distancing in place.

The arrival of the Delta variant in Sydney in June led to Australia's biggest surge in infections.

The city accounted for nearly seven-tenths of the country's 100,000 cases.

The federal government has said before it can go ahead with national reopening plans, 70 to 80 percent of Australian adults must be vaccinated.

But some virus-free states say they may keep their borders closed even when they reach that target.

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