“The easing of restrictions will only be permanent if all of us take on the responsibility to respect the new set of rules we’ve put in place,” she said today.
“I hope they will be permanent. I don’t want us to go backwards. But that depends on us. Be vigilant.”
From Friday, people will be allowed to have gatherings of up to 10 people outside and five visitors to a household, including children.
Cafes and restaurants will be permitted to seat 10 patrons at any one time. Playgrounds and outdoor gym equipment in parks will also be reopened.
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While urging people to maintain social distancing in public spaces, the Premier also asked members of the public to keep each other accountable.
“If you go to a shopfront and the retailer isn’t doing what they are supposed to, let them know. Let the authorities know,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“At the end of the day, governments can put all the rules in place, but it is up to us to do the right thing as well.”
The Premier issued a blunt reminder that we were still dealing with a highly contagious virus, despite a reduced number of cases.
“The virus is as deadly, it is as contagious, it is as virulent as it’s always been. The only difference between May and March is the fact that we have far less cases in May. We need to keep it that way. That is the only difference. But unfortunately, the virus is very contagious.”
She told people to always assumed they had the virus when leaving the house, and that other people did too.
“Every time you leave the house, you have to assume you have the virus or somebody you’re going to have contact with has the virus. That is the only way we will keep this deadly virus at bay,” she said.
With winter fast approaching, authorities have stressed the need to continue making health our primary focus to avoid losing ground.
“We’re heading into colder months. That is why it is so important for all of us not to be complacent. The second we let our guard down, the virus will start winning again. I can’t stress that enough,” Ms Berejiklian reminded people.
“At the moment, the people of New South Wales are winning. We don’t want to change the balance.”
The biggest threat to further outbreaks is major gatherings, the Premier warned.
“The health advice is very clear on this: the biggest threat to contagions or to having the virus move from person to person is in large gatherings. Avoid large gatherings. Avoid places where there is lots of over people. You shouldn’t be in contact with too many people at the one time. If you happen to be in a shopping mall or retail outlet you maintain social distancing. There is no point letting go of all the hard work we’ve done to see the virus start winning again.”
In a bid to stress the critical stage Australia is in, Ms Berejiklian pointed to other countries that adopted a “too-soon” approach.
“Many countries who have successfully beaten the virus are now moving backwards. South Korea is a classic example. Singapore is another,” she said.
“These countries were highlighted as doing really well with the virus. In recent weeks, they have had to roll back and move back to lockdown. We don’t want that to happen in New South Wales. We want to move forward. Please don’t be complacent. That is our enemy. Just as the virus is.”