Plan to get Sydneysiders back to pubs

Plan to get Sydneysiders back to pubs

Sydney residents in certain suburbs could be the first allowed back to the pub, but they will need to show one crucial document.

Sydneysiders could be allowed back at pubs and restaurants next month as fresh details about vaccine passports have been revealed.

A two-week trial will likely take place before the technology is rolled out.

Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said the rollout relied on the availability of federal data but once NSW had that information, the trial could start early next month.

“We can then start doing a two-week pilot, we haven’t worked out where they will be yet, for the first two weeks of October,” he told 2GB host Jim Wilson.

“Around that time, we should be hitting the 70 per cent (vaccination) mark.”

The passport would be available inside the Service NSW app, and Mr Dominello said it was essential authorities made it simple to access.

“It’s basically what the industry is calling for,” he said.

“Imagine if you’re 18 or 19 and you go a pub and you need to show your ID, and then you have to check-in, and then you have to show them your vaccine certificate, by the time you actually get your first beer you’ve been waiting 20 minutes.

“That’s why pubs, clubs, major venues or airlines are saying, ‘make it simple’. If you make it easy for the people using it, they will use it.”

He said the idea would be for people to get their vaccine certificate from the federal government and pull it across to the Service NSW app.

Fully vaccinated residents in some parts of Sydney will soon be able to have a drink at a pub as part of the trial.

The scheme will be trialled early next month before it is rolled out across the state once vaccine targets are met.

It’s understood the trial will take place in a part of Sydney with low virus case numbers and a high vaccination rate, which at this stage is much of the northern beaches.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has promised to restore freedoms to fully vaccinated residents once the state hits its 70 per cent double dose target, which is forecast for about October 18.

More than 40 per cent of NSW residents are now fully vaccinated and more than 70 per cent have received their first dose of a vaccine.

Australian Hotels Association NSW director John Green said it made sense for the trial to be in an area that was “manageable”.

“It’s reasonable in the circumstances to assume that a system like this should be tested. We’ve previously worked with Service NSW n terms of checking the QR codes but also digital drivers licences,” he said.

“We’ve been in constant contact with the NSW government since March last year. In relation to the trial that will be a matter that will hopefully be resolved in the next few days.”

The AHA has been campaigning for people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in a push to reopen the hospitality industry as soon as possible.

“If we’re talking about reopening venues for vaccinated patrons using vaccinated staff in mid October, then people need to get vaccinated now,” Mr Green said.

Ms Berejiklian is forging ahead with plans to begin reopening the state when vaccine targets are reached and has told businesses to be “dusting off your Covid safety plans, making sure your employees are vaccinated” ahead of mid-October.

“That is certainly the date we’re working towards. Initially it was the end of October, but because everybody is coming forward at the rates we’re seeing people come forward, that could be as early as the middle of October,” she said last week.

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