COVID-19 and Parkinson's
As always, the priority of Parkinson’s NSW is supporting people living with Parkinson’s, their families and caregivers amid these challenging times.
This page was updated on 26 November 2021 at 4.03pm. This advice will be updated as new information becomes available.
This page is intended to be a one-stop reference point giving you access to the facts and information that is relevant to you. Please bookmark this page as we will be updating the information regularly.
The Parkinson’s NSW specialist care team is here to support you by calling 1800 644 189 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Our InfoLine and information and support services are still here with support for you.
We will continue to update our website as new information becomes available.
Premier announces new COVID-19 freedoms coming soon
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet says the state will be able to further ease restrictions in December because of its high vaccination rate. More than 92 percent of people over 16 have been double vaccinated.
The additional freedoms will kick in when NSW reaches its 95 percent double dose vaccination target or from December 15 – whichever comes first. The objective is to move the state to a COVID-normal future.
NSW will abandon masks, QR codes and vaccination certificates in retail settings and restaurants, and school closures will end as restrictions are further eased.
Density limits will be scrapped from pubs and restaurants. Masks will only be compulsory on public transport, at airports and for unvaccinated indoor hospitality staff.
Under the changes to the recovery road map, QR code check-ins will only be required at high-risk venues including pubs, nightclubs, hospitals, gyms, hairdressers and beauty salons, funerals and indoor music festivals with more than 1000 people.
Elective surgery returns to full pre-COVID capacity
The 75 percent cap on overnight, non-urgent elective surgery has been lifted for public and private patients in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Illawarra regions.
The cap had originally been placed in October to help the health system cope with the anticipated patient influx resulting from the easing the COVID-19 restrictions.
NSW Health said it was now safe to remove the cap, allowing everyone in Greater Sydney who requires elective surgery to make plans for their procedures from today (Monday 15 November).
The NSW Government is providing $30 million to support private hospitals to undertake additional elective surgery on behalf of the NSW Health system to ensure that patients who had their elective surgical procedures postponed will be scheduled for surgery as soon as possible.
Non-urgent, elective surgeries treat conditions that cause minimal or no physical pain, dysfunction or disability, and do not have the potential to become an emergency.
Despite the return to full capacity, caps on elective surgeries could be reintroduced if the surrounding area of a hospital experience a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases.
NSW reaches 90% double dose vaccination
Unvaccinated 16 times more likely to die or become seriously ill
People who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are 16 times more likely to die, or end up in intensive care during the state’s COVID-19 Delta outbreak, NSW Health data has revealed.
However, the state today (9 November) reached the 90 percent double-dose vaccination milestone for people aged 16 and over – just one day after more freedoms were rolled out for the fully vaccinated.
The percentage of Australians partially vaccinated has reached 94 per cent.
Changes made to NSW COVID-19 roadmap
Restrictions that were due to be scrapped on December have now been brought forward to Monday, 8 November.
People who are not vaccinated – originally promised more freedoms on 1 December – will now have a longer wait before they can enjoy more privileges.
They will need to continue living in virtual lockdown until 95 per cent of people aged 16 or over in NSW are double vaccinated, or until 15 December – whichever comes first.
Unvaccinated people will only be allowed to enter essential businesses like supermarkets. They will be barred from everywhere else – including hospitality venues, gyms and non-essential retail premises. The only exception is places of worship, which unvaccinated people are permitted to attend.
For people who are fully vaccinated, as from 8 November:
- There will be no limit on how many people can visit someone’s home
- There will be no density rules for outdoor gatherings of fewer than 1,000 people.
- Dancing will be permitted in nightclubs (which are currently only allowed to open for people to drink in).
- Indoor swimming pools will be able to reopen for leisure, rather than just laps and swimming lessons.
- Businesses will move to a one person per 2 square metre density limit, allowing them to welcome more customers.
- Entertainment facilities with fixed seating capacity (like stadiums, theatres and cinemas) will be able to operate at 100 percent capacity
- Other entertainment attractions like theme parks and zoos will be subject to the 2 square metre density limit instead of the current caps.
Gym and dance classes will continue to be capped at 20 people.
Everyone is still required to wear a mask in indoor settings such as supermarkets until December 15.
Third booster shot of COVID vaccine to be offered
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisations (ATAGI) has given final approval for an additional vaccine booster shot to be offered for adults six months after receiving their second dose.
ATAGI initially recommended that severely immunocompromised people receive a third dose of a vaccine, but had held off making a decision for the rest of the population.
It has now announced that the booster program will officially start from November 8, prioritising residents in aged care and disability care. However there is sufficient vaccine supply in Australia to offer booster shots to the entire population.
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly clarified that while boosters are encouraged for the elderly and vulnerable people, the government considers people fully vaccinated as long as they had had their first two doses of the vaccine.
He also said the government would not be setting targets for how many people they wanted to get boosters. The booster program will not be tied with restrictions easing.
Supermarkets to stock COVID-19 rapid antigen tests
Coles and Woolworths supermarkets will begin stocking COVID-19 rapid antigen tests in early November. They will also be available for delivery.
Rapid antigen tests can return a result in as little as 15 minutes and will be sold for around $10 to $15 each.
The home self-test kits have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Masks no longer required in gyms and exercise classes
People participating in fitness or dance classes are no longer be required to wear a mask.
Masks were previously required while taking part in exercise classes, although they were not required while exercising on the gym floor.
People visiting gyms still need to wear masks while in the reception area or change rooms, however they can remove them while exercising.
NSW to enter next phase of roadmap to recovery ahead of schedule
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced that the state will hit its target of 80 percent of adults being fully vaccinated by Saturday, 16 October.
Therefore NSW can enter the next phase of its roadmap to recovery on Monday, 18 October.
From that day, fully vaccinated people will enjoy additional freedoms including:
- Having 20 people at their homes
- Outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people
- No limits on the number of guests for weddings and funerals
- Participation in community sports
- Ability to visit aged care homes
Masks will still be required for all staff and customers in all indoor settings including on public transport, planes and in airports. However, they will no longer be required in office buildings.
Reopening of regional travel postponed
Reopening of travel to regional NSW has been delayed until 1 November.
Regional travel was among the restrictions to be lifted when the state achieved a double vaccination rate of 80 percent of NSW residents – a milestone expected to be reached next week.
However mayors from the regions are concerned about the unequal vaccination rates between their areas and Greater Sydney, and how the virus could easily spread if regional travel was open to all.
COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate now available on Service NSW venue check-in application
You can now add your COVID-19 digital certificate to the Service NSW application to prove your vaccination status when you check in to a venue.
A COVID-19 digital certificate is available to people who have received 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
For step-by-step instructions on how to add your digital certificate to the Service NSW venue check-in application.
Digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate trialled in regions of NSW
Tamworth, Port Macquarie, Wagga Wagga and Lismore are the trial sites for residents to display their COVID-19 digital vaccination certificates on the Service NSW application called VaxPass.
As of today, Monday 11 October, staff and visitors at a number of clubs and aged-care facilities, as well as selected taxi companies will participate in the trial.
The new Service NSW digital phone application will enable users to simultaneously check into a venue and show proof of vaccination status.
State-wide rollout of the VaxPass application is planned to begin on 18 October. Until then, you can present your vaccination information via:
A paper certificate from Services Australia
A digital certificate on the Medicare Express Plus application
A digital certificate in your Google or Apple wallet on your phone
Changed conditions: Day trips between Greater Sydney and regional areas now not permitted
NSW public health orders were amended today (8 October) to state that recreational day trips between Greater Sydney and regional areas will not be allowed when the state begins the first phase of its reopening plan on Monday, 11 October.
Yesterday it was stated that recreational day trips would be allowed. However, this was a grey area in the health orders which have since been clarified.
Travel for essential reasons including carer responsibilities and work will still be allowed in line with current public health orders.
Recreational travel between Greater Sydney and regional areas will be permitted once the state reaches its target of having 80 percent of adult residents fully vaccinated.
NSW Premier announces changes to roadmap out of lockdown
NSW has become the first Australian state to fully vaccinate 70 per cent of its population aged 16 and above against COVID-19.
Consequently, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced changes to the NSW roadmap out of COVID-19 lockdown.
From Monday,11 October, fully vaccinated people will be given more freedoms, including:
10 adults will be allowed to gather in homes (was previously five)
30 adults will be allowed to gather in public outdoor spaces (previously 20)
Indoor pools will be reopened
The cap on attendance at weddings and funerals has been raised to 100 people (previously 50)
Students in NSW’s lockdown areas will now return to on-site learning at school from 25 October. Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 12 students will still return to face-to-face learning from 18 October.
The Premier has also announced that when NSW hits its target of 80 percent double dose vaccination coverage:
Face masks will not be required in office buildings (However, school teachers will be required to wear masks because children won’t be vaccinated)
20 adults will be allowed to gather in homes
50 people will be allowed to gather outdoors
3,000 people will be able to attend ticketed outdoors events
Stay-at-home orders extended for some regional areas
The local government areas of Oberon, the Snowy Monaro and some parts of the Central Darling Shire were supposed to be freed from lockdown today. However, for safety, stay-at-home orders have been extended until Monday, 11 October.
Regional workers with one dose of vaccine permitted to return to workplace
Deputy Premier Paul Toole has announced that workers in regional areas who have received one vaccination dose will be permitted to return to their workplace from 11 October. They will be given a grace period until 1 November to receive their second dose.
Regional Local Government Areas put back into lockdown
The Gunnedah Local Government Area (LGA) was put into lockdown from midnight today (5 October) to 11 October. Stay-at-home orders apply to anyone who has been in the LGA since 27 September.
Lockdown orders have also been imposed in Taree, Forster and Tuncurry on the Mid North Coast until 11 October. This includes anyone who has visited the areas since 27 September.
Lismore LGA has also been locked down for the same period.
Stay-at-home orders have been extended for Muswellbrook after the town recorded an additional case on Monday, and Muswellbrook McDonald’s was listed as an exposure site.
Stay-at-home orders for Cowra LGA were lifted as scheduled today and Port Macquarie LGA will exit lockdown at 11:59 pm tonight (5 October).