The government of Australia is looking to gradually reopen Sydney, which has been under lockdown for several weeks now due to a surge of COVID cases. The catch is that there will be separate rules for citizens inoculated for COVID versus unvaccinated folks. Between October 11 and December 1, movement restrictions across the country's most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), will be eased as vaccination rates reach 70%, 70%, and 90%.
According to The Blaze, officials in New South Wales have given vaccinated citizens a "reward" of an extra hour outside their homes for recreational activities. On Monday, they announced at a press briefing that those who remain unvaccinated "will lose their freedoms" in October. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro released updated COVID restrictions on Monday as part of their new "blueprint for freedom."
"Unlike most cases in the world, if you are not vaccinated you will have to wait at least four or five weeks...in order to participate in things that the rest of us can participate in," Premier Berejiklian said in a televised briefing, as reported by Reuters. "If you want to be able to have a meal with friends and welcome people in your home, you have to get vaccinated."
The state also announced its 70% vaccination goal on Monday, which they believe will be achieved by October 11. Once the state hits 80% vaccination rate, they will allow vaccinated citizens to travel anywhere in New South Wales, allow people to stand up and drink in pubs or "vertical drinking" and enable up to 10 visitors at a private residence. Groups of 20 people will also be allowed to gather outside, while weddings and funerals will be allowed to have an unlimited number of vaccinated attendees.
On the contrary, Australians who are unvaccinated must expect to "lose their freedoms," the government announced. Deputy Premier Barilaro affirmed, "The message to the unvaccinated is that you will not achieve any further freedom unless you get vaccinated."
Premiere Barilaro also reiterated that those who remain unvaccinated would not "achieve any further freedom" and that individuals in the regional and rural parts of New South Wales who choose not to be vaccinated "will lose their freedoms on the 11th of October." He once again encouraged people to get vaccinated, adding, "We are seeing vaccination rates climb right across the state including in the regions."
Meanwhile, a separate report from The Blaze revealed how Australian police have continued their crackdown on people going outside without wearing face masks and protesters opposing vaccine and mask mandates. Last week, protests against the mask and vaccine mandates took place, with police countering in complete crowd control gear. About 200 people were arrested on Wednesday.
Videos posted to social media show footage of how Australian police are using questionable tactics to deter protesters, such as using the butt of a rifle to bludgeon a man on the ground who already appeared to be complying.
Longer version of same incident posted in previous tweet from Melbourne. Note the officer in the back using his weapon to beat the man on the ground.
(Video shot by photographer @jasonephoto )
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) September 24, 2021
Another video showed a police officer punch and tackle a man on the street and put his knee on the man's neck.
Media has almost universally condemned, even dehumanised, anti-lockdown & anti-vaccine passport protesters. Whether they’re burly construction workers or old women the police response has been consistently excessive…and with little blowback. pic.twitter.com/wFcyWIh1Ij — Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) September 25, 2021
In Melbourne, authorities arrested a couple who were not wearing masks near a beach and a maskless man who was walking his dog, saying that he is medically exempt from wearing a face mask.
Victoria police questioned this man for not wearing a mask, he clearly stated he was medically exempt & was walking his dog and not involved in the protest.
Victoria has become a communist state. pic.twitter.com/RWwt29n7V9
— The Juggernaut (@TheJuggernaut88) September 25, 2021