Sydney residents who are not vaccinated risk being barred from social activities even when they are freed from stay-at-home orders in December, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned on Tuesday.

 

Under a roadmap to exit lockdown in Australia’s biggest city, unvaccinated people are already subject to delays in freedoms that will be gradually granted to inoculated residents between Oct. 11 and Dec. 1.

 

Berejiklian said people who choose not to be vaccinated could be barred entry to shops, restaurants and entertainment venues even after the state lifts all restrictions against them on Dec. 1.

 

“A lot of businesses have said they will not accept anyone who is unvaccinated,” Berejiklian told Seven News on Tuesday. “Life for the unvaccinated will be very difficult indefinitely.”

 

The two-tier system has been criticised for both penalising vulnerable groups who have not had access to inoculations and for falling short of providing a real incentive for the vaccine hesitant.

 

The Delta-fuelled outbreak has divided state and territory leaders, with some presiding over virus-free parts of the country indicating they will defy a federal plan to reopen internal borders once the adult population reaches 80% vaccination, expected in November. The national vaccine rate is currently around 52%.

 

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt welcomed the New South Wales roadmap and urged people to get vaccinated as soon as possible. “The strongest possible reason to be vaccinated is to save your life,” Hunt said.

 

New South Wales reported 863 new cases on Tuesday.

 

In New South Wales, the number of people hospitalised dipped to 1,155 from 1,266 a week ago.

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