The restoration of freedoms with the lifting of stay at home areas in parts of regional NSW deemed low risk, including the Clarence and Richmond Valleys, is a victory for common sense and the hard work of locals who have kept to the two local government areas totally COVID free, according to Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis.
All areas of the Northern Rivers will emerge from lockdown at 12:01am Saturday 11 September, but will continue to operate under restrictions to ensure the safety of regional communities.
“It’s been really tough. In my frequent pleas to the Premier and Deputy Premier to relax the restrictions, the disciplined COVID healthy behaviour of locals was the most powerful and, in the end, winning argument,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“This is a well-earned but hard fought win for the Clarence and Richmond Valleys and I do sincerely thank, Nationals Leader John Barilaro who backed us against powerful voices around the Cabinet table calling for the lockdown to continue until much higher vaccinations targets had been met.”
Mr Gulaptis said the end of restrictions in no way signalled an end to the crisis and pleaded with people to continue playing COVID safe and get the jab at the first opportunity.
“More vaccines are arriving every day so we just need to make sure we have enough professionals to administer them and to encourage the hesitant to get the right information and do the right thing by their community,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“The best way to lock out future lockdowns is for us to jab our way back to complete freedom together. Please don’t take your foot of the accelerator and continue to get vaccinated so that when NSW reaches 70 and 80 per cent, restrictions can ease significantly.”