New case numbers, next ‘freedom day’ set for October 25

Just one day after lockdown was lifted across New South Wales, residents can begin looking forward to the next stage.

It’s predicted that NSW could reach 80 per cent double dose vaccination in time for the next “freedom day” to be October 25.

Diners at a cafe in Strand Arcade in Sydney. (Bloomberg)

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet this morning announced extra support for businesses across the state.

Small businesses with a payroll of less than $1.2 million, that therefore do not qualify for payroll tax, will be able to claim up to $2000 – extended from $1500 previously.

This will be available until June 30 next year.

This extra funding can now also be used to pay tolls, Mr Perrottet said.

“We know that is going to really support tradies right across Greater Sydney who will also be able to access this rebate,” he said.

NSW Premier Dominic Perottet has announced more business support for the state. (Nine)

Mr Perrottet also announced a stock rebate for small to medium businesses in NSW heading in to the Christmas period.

“We learned from Victoria last year that one of the key issues was providing confidence as we head into the summer months, Christmas trade, that businesses go out there and invest in their businesses, buy stock to get going and we know that there has been concern in relation to lockdowns,” he said.

Now, businesses will be able to make apply for a $20,000 rebate for perishable goods and $10,000 for non-perishable goods.

The grants will be available to non-essential businesses that are forced to close their doors due to public health orders between December 1, 2021, and January 31, 2022.

Diners are able to sit down for a meal inside the QVB in Sydney for the first time since June. Sydney reopening

‘Freedom Day’ in photos: Drinks, haircuts, gyms and shopping

Scenes of joy abounded in Sydney yesterday as families and friends reunited, with home visits, larger outdoor gatherings, and pub and restaurant visits all back on the table for the fully vaccinated.

There was some frustration with people having difficulty getting into venues.

The ServiceNSW app that will allow people to check in and prove their vaccination status simultaneously is still about a week away, so checking in is currently a two-step process.

Under current restrictions, people may only drink at a pub while seated.

Police decided to exercise discretion and issue no fines.

New South Wales recorded 496 new COVID-19 cases and eight deaths yesterday, though health authorities and senior politicians have warned that cases are likely to rise again due to the re-opening.

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