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NSW to create “two-tier society” using vaccine passports

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The state of New South Wales, in Australia, has effectively created a two-tier society by restricting access to facilities for those who won’t show a vaccine passport. Rights advocates have been warning that passport mandates are discriminatory.

Starting Monday, November 8, residents of New South Wales (NSW) will be able to host an unlimited number of people in their homes, dance in night clubs, and enjoy a dip in an indoor swimming pools. But they must be able to prove their vaccination status. The density limits of venues will also be eased.

However, those who cannot show a vaccine passport will continue living under the current restrictions, including working from home.

RelatedHow vaccine passports are crushing freedom, privacy, and civil liberties

The original plan was to remove the restrictions for everyone on December 1. But, in an effort to incentivize people to get vaccinated, the NSW government eased restrictions for the double vaccinated and extended restrictions for the unvaccinated by two weeks. The restrictions may be lifted for everyone on December 15 or if the state achieves a 95% vaccination rate (whichever comes first). Although, nothing is set in stone as the government has been known to change its mind.

“We said from the outset that this was the key for our state to be able to open up safely,” said NSW’s Premier Dominic Perrottet.

“Everybody has done an incredible job to ensure NSW can ease restrictions in a safe and considered way earlier than we planned. [This] is one last push and I believe that we can get to that 95% mark.”

Currently, 87.8% of NSW residents have been double vaccinated.

Those who have not been fully vaccinated will continue not having access to gyms, “non-essential” venues and entertainment venues for longer than they expected. The premier hopes the delay will encourage more people to get vaccinated.

“Ultimately we want a united society and we believe by moving that date back to December 15 will incentivize” he said.

“I know you haven’t had access to the vaccines for as long … but just to reiterate, there is plenty of vaccine and plenty of access points for you,” said Dr. Kerry Chant. “We know those age groups actually drive transmission.

“They are the connectors in our society, they connect with younger people and they also connect with older people. They also have more social contacts. So it is critical we achieve high rates of coverage in those groups.”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the return to “freedom” for those with a vaccine passport was a “giant step.”

“A year and a half ago we all wondered whether we would get vaccinated or whether we would ever get our freedoms back,” he said. “A little as three or four months ago, when things were looking dark, we were all wondering if we’ll be able to get through the next few months.

“This really is a giant step for all of us, and how good is it that we have actually faced down this enemy of this hidden virus and managed to get our freedoms back.”

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