Back to normal? Mostly mask-free, QR codes dumped and we can sing and dance

Susanna Freymark

A semblance of pre-covid life when we didn’t complain about QR codes or ask how often we should wash our face masks resumes this month.

Premier Dominic Perrottet announced the staged easing of covid restrictions.

Here’s what changes tomorrow, Friday February 18:

No density limits on people in cafes, restaurants and pubs.

QR check-ins are only required for nightclubs and for music festivals with more than 1000 people. Hospitals aged and disability facilities may continue to use the check-in system.

Singing and dancing will be permitted at all venues, except music festivals.

The recommendation to work from home will change and be returned to the employer’s discretion.

More changes will come into effect on Friday, February 25:

Masks will only be compulsory on public transport, planes, and indoors at airports, hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, corrections facilities, and indoor music festivals with more than 1000 people.

Masks are encouraged for indoor settings where you cannot maintain a safe distance from others and for customer-facing retail staff.

The 20,000-person cap on music festivals will be removed, with singing and dancing permitted.

Vaccination requirements will remain for indoor music festivals with more than  1000 people.

Hotel quarantine for unvaccinated returning travellers will be reduced from 14 to seven days from February 21.

Because covid hospitalisation and ICU rates have eased, a staged return of non-urgent elective surgery across all NSW public hospitals has begun and will be increased through February to March.

Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the changes would reinvigorate regional communities, with country shows, festivals, and other major events able to return bigger than ever.

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