New South Wales bans unvaccinated Aussies from drinking alcohol while standing at weddings
The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) banned unvaccinated people from drinking alcohol while standing
at wedding receptions. The new restriction came as NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet loosened restrictions for Australians fully vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to the state government website
, unvaccinated Australians – including those who only received one COVID-19 vaccine dose – can attend a small wedding service anywhere in NSW. It defines a small wedding service as a ceremony with a maximum of 11 people attending. However, it says that those not fully vaccinated "must be seated while consuming alcohol, and while eating and drinking."
The restriction also applies to small funerals or memorial services in the state, with unvaccinated people only allowed to attend gatherings with a maximum of 10 people attending. The 10-people capacity does not include the officiant and others necessary to conduct the service. Attendees in small funerals or memorial services, vaccinated or not, "must be seated while consuming food and drink."
Perrottet announced on Nov. 2 that fully vaccinated individuals will see more relaxed restrictions
beginning Nov. 8, earlier than the original Dec. 1 date. "Everybody has done an incredible job to ensure NSW can ease restrictions in a safe and considered way earlier than we planned. We are on track to reach 90 percent double vaccination weeks ahead of schedule," he said.
The premier added: "There is still a long way to go, but the NSW government is standing with the community and continuing to do everything that we can to keep people safe as we open up."
As per the NSW government's guidelines, unvaccinated residents can only visit "critical retail premises." These include groceries and supermarkets, office supply stores, pharmacies, pet shops, gas stations, hardware stores and laundromats. Those intending to visit these critical retail premises must wear a face mask
and either check in using the Service NSW app or provide their contact details to the establishment. (Related: Australia government threatens its own citizens: No freedom until you comply with vaccine shot quotas
NSW's restrictions for the unvaccinated mirror that of Queensland
NSW's restrictions limiting the movements of unvaccinated Australians share similarities with those of the northeastern state of Queensland. The state's Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced new guidelines
on Nov. 9 granting relaxed restrictions for fully vaccinated residents. At the same time, she mentioned that Queenslanders refusing the shot will be barred from visiting different venues. Violators who refuse to comply will face a fine of AU$1378.50 ($1003.55).
As per the Queensland government website
, the new changes "will commence on Dec. 17, 2021 or when 80 percent of Queenslanders aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated – whichever comes first." Fully vaccinated Queenslanders will be able to visit restaurants, pubs, hotels, nightclubs, cinemas, theme parks, government-owned museums and art galleries and sports venues. They will also be permitted to attend music and arts festivals in both indoor and outdoor settings.
: "This is both a reward for the fully vaccinated, and precaution for when the borders open and we will see more cases in our community. People deserve to know that they can go to these places and know that they are safe." (Related: Australia considering COVID-19 vaccine passports and the segregation of society based on vaccination status
Queensland's policy toward weddings appear to be more relaxed than its southern neighbor. Wedding celebrations will not have any maximum limit of attendees, provided that everyone is fully vaccinated. However, weddings will be limited to a maximum of 20 people if any attendee has not yet received the COVID-19 shot.
The same rule applies to all funerals in Queensland. "Funerals will not be limited to only vaccinated people because [they] sometimes occur at short notice and often under difficult circumstances, making it hard to ensure all attendees are vaccinated. However, funerals will still be required to comply with occupant density limits and caps on attendees to minimize the risk of transmission."
Unlike NSW, both vaccinated and unvaccinated Queenslanders are still permitted to visit essential establishments such as supermarkets and pharmacies. They are also still allowed to participate in different activities such as going to gyms and fitness centers.
However, the Queensland government noted that capacity restrictions may still be in place at these establishments and that people will still need to check in via the Check In Qld app for contact tracing purposes.
has more articles about Australian states discriminating against the unvaccinated by means of draconian restrictions.