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Regional travel delayed beyond 80 per cent vaccinated

Article image for Regional travel delayed beyond 80 per cent vaccinated

Travel between Greater Sydney and the regions will not resume on Monday, Nine News political reporter Chris O’Keefe has confirmed.

Regional travel was to be permitted the Monday after the state reaches 80 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated, a target estimated to be reached on Saturday.

Chris O’Keefe told Jim Wilson the lifting of the travel ban has now been pushed back until “at least” Monday October 25th, and “potentially even longer”.

“The government is still working through the nitty gritty, and this may be … because some of the regions … are lagging behind.”

Other changes under the 80 per cent roadmap will go ahead, he said.

Press PLAY below to hear the latest details

Callers on Jim Wilson’s open line have expressed their disappointment and frustration at again being held back from visiting loved ones in other parts of the state.

Many have questioned why all regional communities have been lumped together under the restrictions, when some have far higher vaccination rates than others.

In Shoalhaven Heads the single-dose vaccination rate is at 95 per cent, and the double-dose rate over 73 per cent.

Michelle Bishop, owner of Bangalay Luxury Villas, was torn on the delay, telling Jim having a firm date rather than a “wishy-washy” vaccination goal does give business owners certainty.

“The regional opening has just been a very, very soft launch – it’s almost like we’re just having family and friends come back.

“We don’t want to see an influx.”

Press PLAY below to hear the reaction from Shoalhaven

On the other end of the scale, Byron Bay is less than 76 per cent single-dosed vaccinated.

Bay Motel manager Michelle Visser told Jim Wilson bookings have been “squashed” by the shifting goalposts.

“We had some this weekend … around half a dozen rooms, that’s gone down to three in the last four, five hours.”

Press PLAY below to hear the reaction from Byron Bay

Image: Getty

Jim Wilson
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