Australian officials on Monday again reminded their subjects that the nation's "zero COVID" strategy has somehow given them the power to strip the people of their freedoms.
Government leaders in the state of New South Wales — where the bureaucracy just a month ago announced that it was giving vaccinated citizens a "reward" of one extra hour outside their homes for recreation time — announced during a Monday press briefing that unvaccinated folks "will lose their freedoms" in October, Sky News reported.
What did they say?
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro announced updated COVID protocols Monday morning in remarks to the press to give more details for their so-called "blueprint for freedom."
Berejiklian's announcement revealed "extra freedoms" residents can experience once the state hits an 80% vaccination rate — above and beyond the current 70% goalpost, News.com.au reported.
The state has been touting its 70% threshold goal and said Monday that it expected to hit that goal by Oct. 11. The updated "freedoms" for the 80% threshold will include freely traveling anywhere in NSW; allowing people to stand up and drink in pubs (aka "vertical drinking"); up to 10 visitors at a private residence; groups of up to 20 people allowed to gather outside; no limits on fully vaccinated attendance at weddings and funerals; and a number of other "extra freedoms" the government will deign to give the hoi polloi.
But anyone who is not vaccinated can expect to "lose their freedoms," the government announced.
The 70% roadmap that will kick in on Oct. 11 will apply to the whole state, Deputy Premier Barilaro said. Which means that restrictions for non-vaxxed will also kick in.
"The message to the unvaccinated is that you will not achieve any further freedom unless you get vaccinated," he stated.
And then he made it clear that not only would unvaccinated people not "achieve any further freedom," but also they will "lose" freedoms they currently enjoy.
"So there will be individuals in regional and rural New South Wales who choose not to be vaccinated who will lose their freedoms on the 11th of October," Barilaro declared. "So my message to everybody in regional and rural New South Wales is to continue to get vaccinated. We are seeing vaccination rates climb right across the state including in the regions."
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