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Vaccine ultimatum: Month to get jabs or miss out on family, friends and fun

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The unvaccinated in NSW have a little over a month to get double jabbed if they want to be able to visit family and friends, dine out, travel and go to the hairdresser, gym or football matches.

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Under a roadmap out of lockdown announced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday, a suite of restrictions will be eased when 70 per cent of the state’s resident are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Catching a movie at the cinema, hitting the pub, a trip to the nail salon, dining out and having a small number of household guests are all back on the cards, as is travel to the state’s regions.

But the unvaccinated will miss out.

They will only be able to access “critical retail” like supermarkets.

“You have been warned – come forward and get vaccinated or you won’t be able to participate,” Berejiklian told reporters.

Some limits on where vaccinated people in hotspot areas can make the most of their new freedoms may remain.

The freedoms will be policed via a vaccination status feature on state’s QR code check-in system.

“If you want to go and buy something in what is regarded as a non-essential shop, you will put up the QR code and if it is not a green light saying you have been vaccinated, you won’t be welcome inside,” she said.

While NSW recorded 1405 new local COVID-19 cases and another five deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday, some virus-free regional areas will be released from lockdown.

From Saturday, parts of the mid-north coast and the north coast will emerge from lockdown on the weekend. So too will the Riverina and Murrumbidgee areas, including Wagga Wagga and Albury.

While the plan was enthusiastically welcomed by business and tourism industry bodies, the Australian Medical Association criticised it as lacking sufficient detail.

President Dr Omar Khorshid is calling for the release of any modelling of future case numbers and health system impacts.

The health system is already under considerable stress, and the state would be easing restrictions while recording more than 500 infections each day, without the ability to trace contacts of all cases.

“Unfortunately, today’s plan appears to leave NSW at considerable risk of having to return to lockdowns,” Dr Khorshid said.

Meanwhile the announcement of the HSC timetable is due on Friday, with Nine Newspapers reporting no exams will be cancelled.

A compromise has been reached after universities, schools and the education standards board agreed that to cancel some exams but hold others would be unfair to students.

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