On Tuesday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklan said NSW would be relaxing its social-distancing measures from Friday, 1st May onward.
Two points are key takeaways from her announcement:
- Inherent risk to easing restrictions, but
- absolutely confident that people will be responsible.
The above two points puts the onus of public health ont he people of NSW – it depends upon them to either, have the social-distancing measures reimposed, or further relaxation of the measures. The relief measures, which will allow 2 adults (and their children if they have any) to meet others households for social gatherings.
- Public responsibility important to prevent community transmission of COVID-19.
- Until a vaccine is developed, physical distancing is going to be the new norm.
- The government will reassess restrictions at the end of each month.
“Two adults will be able to go and visit anybody else in their home on the basis of care, on the basis of reducing social isolation and everybody’s mental health,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Tuesday morning.
If you have younger children, you will be able to bring them with you on the visit and they will not count towards the “two adults” total.
The number of new infections in NSW has been on the decline – with only 5 testing positive for COVID-19 amongst the 4,000 tested. NSW government is confident the state has been able to drastically decrease community transmission, therefore encouraged to relax social distancing measures imposed to curb the outbreak.
However, to keep the community safe, public vigilance is crucial – NSW residents will have to continue practicing social-distancing from others to prevent a resurgence in community transmission. Those who are feeling unhealthy, or showing any symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and get themselves tested.
The announcement also does not repeal the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020) entirely – and restrictions on non-essential travel, and public gatherings beyond permitted two members visiting another household is still restricted. The government will reassess restrictions at the end of each month.
The responsibility of NSW’s public health, as it is elsewhere in the world, is largely shouldered upon the people and their activities. Physical distancing and hygienic practices must be continued to lessen the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Only if the risk of community transmission is contained, then decisions of opening other aspects of the economy will be possible – and until a vaccine is found, we have to be used to the fact that ‘social distancing is going to be the new norm’.