COVID-19 Restrictions Extended

Current restrictions have been extended to Mon 28 Feb.

Stay up to date with the evolving rules.

COVID-19 Safe QR check-ins required!

Rules and restrictions for all people living in NSW.

Latest COVID Rules – QR Check-In reqd

COVID-19 Safe QR check-ins required!

Check the rules below that apply to everyone in NSW.

Some premises may make it a condition of entry that you are fully vaccinated or wear a face mask.

NSW Health strongly advises people get fully vaccinated and wear a face mask where they cannot physically distance.

Source: NSW Health

NSW Government updates COVID settings and makes Rapid Antigen Tests free

23 December 2021

The NSW Government is taking precautionary steps to maintain its safe and measured approach as we continue to learn to live with COVID.

The following adjustments to the NSW Government’s pandemic settings will come into effect:

From 12.01am Friday, 24 December:

Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including for hospitality staff and in offices, unless eating or drinking.

From 12.01am Monday, 27 December 2021:

  • QR code check-ins will be compulsory, including for hospitality and retail and
  • Hospitality venues, including pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes will move to 1 person per 2 sqm rule indoors, with no density limit for outdoor settings.

All settings will remain in place until Wednesday, 27 January 2022.

Extending QR check-in requirements will remind people that if they receive a notification they should be tested if they feel unwell. They should also get tested if they are directed by NSW Health or if they have symptoms.

Further to these measures, the Government is asking people to reduce mingling where they can including when eating and drinking, work from home where possible and hold events outside.

The NSW Government will continue to monitor these settings.

The NSW Government will also procure Rapid-Antigen Test kits and make them available for free to people across the State, to give additional options to people and allow those who need to get a PCR test to do so.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said these measures would help take the pressure off our health system and keep the community safe until more people could get their booster shots.

“We said we would tailor our settings as the situation evolved and these steps will help take the pressure of our health system, so the people who need care can access it,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Our frontline health workers have done an enormous job keeping us safe over the past two years and we can’t thank them enough.

“Vaccination remains the key to keeping people safe and out of hospital. It is vital people continue to roll up their sleeves to get vaccinated and receive their boosters.”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard thanked people for continuing to come forward in large numbers to get tested and urged everyone to follow the restrictions.

“We thank people for coming out in large numbers to get tested but we need to make sure that tests are available for people who really need it,” Mr Hazzard said.

“If you don’t have any symptoms, please don’t get a test just for the sake of it. The best thing people can do is follow the rules outlined today. The health and safety of the community continues to be the highest priority.

“I want to again thank NSW Health for the work they are doing in response to the pandemic.”

 

When NSW eases restrictions in December 2021

Restrictions will ease when NSW reaches 95% double vaccination or on 15 December, with changes including:

  • No density limits for all settings 
  • COVID safety plans will be optional for businesses

For all people in NSW, regardless of your vaccination status

Masks COVID reopening icon

 

Masks and QR codes

  • Masks will only be required on public transport and planes, at airports, and for indoors front-of-house hospitality staff who are not fully vaccinated. Masks will be strongly encouraged in settings where you cannot social distance.
  • Masks no longer required in outdoor settings.
  • COVID-19 Safe check-ins only required for hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, gyms, places of worship, funerals or memorial services, personal services (including sex services), pubs, small bars and registered clubs, nightclubs, strip clubs, sex on premises and indoor music festivals with over 1,000 people.
Visiting COVID reopening icon

 

Visiting family and friends

  • No limit to number of visitors in your home.
  • No limit to number of people for outdoor public gatherings.
  • All visitors to residents in aged care facilities and disability homes permitted in line with their policies.
An icon image depicting a person running.

 

Exercise and recreation

  • No person limit in gyms, indoor recreation and sporting facilities.
  • Indoor swimming pools open for all purposes.
  • Community sports permitted for all staff, spectators and participants.
An icon of a person with maths symbols representing working from home

 

Schools

  • Students already returned to face-to-face learning.
Restaurants hospitality shopping COVID reopening icon

 

Shopping and personal services

  • Non-critical retail reopens to all.
  • No person limit for personal services (including hairdressers, spas, beauty and nail salons, tattoo and massage parlours).
  • Sex services premises open.
Restaurants COVID reopening icon

 

Restaurants and hospitality

  • No person limit in hospitality venues.
  • Singing and dancing is permitted indoors and outdoors for all.
  • Drinking indoors and outdoors may be seated or standing.
An icon of a person at a computer screen representing working from home.

 

Working from home

  • Employers allow staff to work from home at their discretion.
Travel COVID reopening icon

 

Travel and transport

  • Travel between Greater Sydney and regional NSW permitted for all.
  • Carpooling permitted for all.
  • Caravan parks and camping grounds remain open (including for people who are not fully vaccinated).
Icon of a plane flying over a globe

 

International travel

  • International travellers who are fully vaccinated no longer need to quarantine on arrival. They must do a PCR test, be recognised as fully vaccinated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and have their vaccination status certified by the Commonwealth.
  • International travellers who are not fully vaccinated still need to quarantine on arrival for 14 days. Limit on number of arrivals will apply.
Events COVID reopening icon

 

Events and entertainment

  • No person limit for major recreation facilities (including stadiums, theme parks and race courses), subject to 100% of fixed seated capacity.
  • No person limit for entertainment facilities (including cinemas and theatres), subject to 100% of fixed seated capacity.
  • No person limit for information and education facilities (including art galleries, museums and libraries).
  • No person limit for outdoor public gatherings and recreation.
  • Nightclubs, strip clubs and sex on premises venues open.
  • Music festivals reopen with 20,000 person limit.
  • Amusement centres and play centres open to all.
  • Proof of vaccination only required for indoor music festivals with over 1,000 people and cruises with over 100 passengers.
Weddings and religious services COVID reopening icon

 

Weddings and religious services

  • Weddings permitted with no person limit, eating and drinking allowed while standing and dancing permitted.
  • Funerals permitted with no person limit, and eating and drinking allowed while standing.
  • Singing and dancing indoors permitted by all.
  • Places of worship open to all.

About the roadmap

The roadmap may be fine-tuned as NSW Health monitors the COVID-19 situation over the coming weeks.

Local government areas may be subject to different rules and restrictions in line with Public Health Orders.

Rules for people who are not fully vaccinated | NSW Govn

New rules are in place for fully vaccinated people in NSW.

You are fully vaccinated if you have had 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccination or you have a medical exemption.

Children under 16 years of age who are not fully vaccinated can generally follow the rules for fully vaccinated people so long as they visit certain businesses with a fully vaccinated member of your household.

For people over the age of 16 who are not fully vaccinated, more rules and restrictions apply.

You are not fully vaccinated if you have had:

  • only one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination or
  • no doses of a COVID-19 vaccination.

Link to:

Additional restrictions ease in NSW Government roadmap | Northern Beaches Council

With the first vaccination milestone of 70 percent double vaccination reached, the NSW Government is easing a number of restrictions as part of the Reopening NSW roadmap(Opens in a new window), which will allow fully vaccinated adults to enjoy more freedoms from next Monday 11 October.

The changes to the 70 per cent roadmap will allow:

  • up to 10 visitors (not counting children 12 and under) to a home (previously five)
  • lift the cap on outdoor gatherings to 30 people (previously 20)
  • increase the cap for weddings and funerals to 100 people (previously 50).

Indoor pools will also be re-opened for swimming lessons, squad training, lap swimming, and rehab activities. Keep an eye on our aquatic centre webpages for more information on our local pools.

The NSW Government also announced on the Monday after NSW clears the 80 per cent double vaccination hurdle further restrictions will be relaxed, with people able to have:

  • up to 20 visitors (excluding children 12 and under) to a home (previously 10)
  • up to 50 people will be allowed to gather outdoors (previously 20).
  • up to 3,000 people will be allowed to attend controlled and ticketed outdoor events (previously 500)
  • nightclubs will be permitted to reopen for seated drinking only (no dancing)
  • masks will no longer be required in office buildings.

All roadmap freedoms at 70 and 80 per cent will continue to be for fully vaccinated people only.

www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/council/news/additional-restrictions-ease-nsw-government-roadmap

COVID-19 Community Sport Update | NSW OfficeOfSport

The NSW Government has announced the roadmap from easing restrictions as NSW reaches the 80 per cent double dose target.

From the Monday after NSW hits the 80 per cent (aged 16 and over) double dose vaccination target, eased restrictions will allow those who are fully vaccinated to have up to 10 people visit their home, participate in community sport, and access hospitality venues (where drinking while standing up will be allowed indoors). All premises will operate at 1 person per 4sqm indoors, and 1 person per 2sqm outdoors.

Over the coming weeks, NSW Health and the Office of Sport will work with the sector to finalise the details and requirements for the recommencement of community sport.

COVID-19 roadmap to recovery fact sheet

Sports NSW Covid Link

COVID-19 Manly NSW: Manly guest house shut down and declared high risk | NBR

RESIDENTS of a Manly guest house have been forced into a two week isolation period with Dr Kerry Chant declaring the site a “high Covid-19 risk premises”.
The site is known by a few names – Manly Waves Studios and Apartments, The Manly Hotel and Manly Guest House, and is located on the corner of Pacific Street and Malvern Avenue.
Dr Chant said there are 26 dwellings at the site and all residents are at risk of transmission of the virus.
“At least one resident in five of those dwellings having received a diagnosis of Covid-19,” she said in her public health order declaration.
Dr Chant ordered that the site be closed from September 29 until October 12.
Data to 8pm on Monday shows the number of active Covid cases in Manly has doubled from six to 12 in the past five days. There are 133 cases across the northern beaches.
A Northern Sydney Local Health District spokesperson said the source of the virus infection was under investigation and residents are required to isolate and get tested.
“Health staff are assisting the guests with their welfare and health needs during this time,” the spokesperson said.
There are no other Manly sites on the NSW Health Covid venue alert list.
“NSW Health does not disclose details of specific venues unless there is a public health reason, such as if contacts are unable to be identified by other means,” the LHD spokesperson said.
READ ALSO: ‘Disgusting’ behaviour at The Office must stop
“When a confirmed COVID-19 case attends a venue while possibly infectious, NSW Health carries out a risk assessment on that venue to determine whether other people may have been exposed.
“The public is alerted as quickly as possible to any venues where potential public exposures may have occurred.”
EXPOSURE: Police and health authorities on site at a Manly guest house following a Covid-19 exposure. Picture: Duane Langford

COVID-19 102 cases | Manly, NSW

THE number of Covid-19 cases in the northern beaches has risen to triple digits again, with 102 infected people.

Last week the numbers were hovering around the mid 60s, but after no data from NSW Health for a few days cases have shot back up, the report to 8pm on Monday shows.

The highest number of cases are in the 2099 postcode at 25. This area, which includes Dee Why, Cromer, Narraweena and North Curl Curl, also has the highest population in the LGA at 44,119 people.

Covid-19 by northern beaches postcode

  • 25 in 2099 (Dee Why, Cromer, Narraweena, North Curl Curl)
  • 12 in 2093 (Balgowlah, Clontarf, Manly Vale)
  • 10 in 2107 (Avalon, Bilgola, Clareville, Whale Beach)
  • Nine in 2101 (Narrabeen, Elanora Heights, Ingleside)
  • Nine in 2100 (Brookvale, Beacon Hill, Allambie, North Manly, Oxford Falls)
  • Seven in 2086 (Frenchs Forest)
  • Six in 2087 (Forestville, Killarney Heights)
  • Five in 2095 (Manly)
  • Four in 2096 (Curl Curl, Freshwater, Queenscliff)
  • Three in 2097 (Collaroy, Wheeler Heights)
  • Three in 2092 (Seaforth)
  • Two in 2106 (Newport)
  • Two in 2104 (Bayview)
  • Two in 2085 (Belrose, Davidson)
  • One in 2103 (Mona Vale)
  • One in 2108 (Palm Beach, Coasters Retreat, Currawong Beach, Great Mackerel Beach)

There are currently no Covid-19 cases in the 2105 (Church Point, Scotland Island and Elvina, Lovett and Morning bays) and 2102 (Warriewood) postcodes.

Across NSW, Covid cases have also shot upwards with 1022 new cases reported in the 24 hours overnight.

A further 10 people died overnight, eight men and two women, all from Sydney. That takes the total of fatalities in this outbreak across NSW to 255.

www.northernbeachesreview.com.au/story/7439295/northern-beaches-covid-19-cases-back-up-to-triple-digits/

 

COVID-19 UPDATE 17 Sept | TNSW

Dear NSW tennis community

Firstly, we hope that you are all keeping well and safe during these challenging times. We thank you for your patience as we have been examining the current Public Health Order and the impacts on tennis activity throughout NSW.

Tennis NSW has been overwhelmed with requests from the community around the varying levels of restrictions now in place throughout NSW. We are working to present our guidance on tennis activities across NSW in a format that is easy to understand and to update our FAQs, we anticipate this will be available Monday 20 September.

During this week several LGAs across NSW have come in and out of lockdown as local COVID-19 cases emerge. Tennis NSW reminds its community to use the NSW Government’s webpage search that allows you to identify your current rules and restrictions by postcode. Tennis NSW staff will not undertake these searches for you.

In regards to doubles play and double vaccination, Tennis NSW is able to provide the following guidance:

DOUBLE VACCINATION – DOUBLES PLAY

Tennis NSW has received numerous enquiries in relation to whether doubles play is permitted given the partial lifting of restrictions for individuals who have been double vaccinated.

We have engaged NSW Health and NSW Office of Sport to get clarity and confirmation on whether it is the responsibility of the individual or the club/venue to ensure that they are fully vaccinated. Without receiving clarity on ultimately who is liable, then our advice is as follows:

Doubles play at a venue in a Stay-At-Home Area is NOT permitted unless the Club/Venue Operator has means by which they can verify the vaccination status of anyone wishing to play doubles at their venue. Alongside of this, the Club should be implementing all relevant COVID protocols including having a COVID-19 Safety plan, COVID-19 check-in stations and all other necessary protocols to effectively implement the 1 person per 4sqm rule (outdoor courts only) can be adhered to. All play at the venue should be on a ‘Play and Go’ basis and the Club/Venue should not permit any gatherings pre or post play.

We believe that the large majority of our venues across the State are unable to meet the requirements above however, any Club/Venue wishing to implement appropriate processes should conduct their own risk analysis and make a decision based on their own circumstances and resources.

Clubs should also note that we are aware that the NSW Police have interpreted the current Public Health Order differently in different parts of the State and should therefore be prepared to provide evidence of how they are effectively implementing and monitoring the vaccination status of those using their venue should they be asked to.

We believe that in the spirit of the Public Health Order then it is reasonable for a Club/Venue Operator to ask for evidence of a person’s vaccination status prior to play commencing.

DOUBLE VACCINATION – LONGER TERM VIEW

We have also been asked what our position will be longer term in regards to double vaccination and how it will relate to participating in tennis whether it be coaching, court hire or competition.

At this stage, it is too early to provide a definitive position on this matter until we have received further guidance from the NSW Government and the Office of Sport in regards to a roadmap back for Community Sport. There is also the broader matter of whether it will be legally permissible to require all users of a tennis venue or entrants into a tennis competition/tournament to be double vaccinated. We will continue to liaise with Tennis Australia, our other Member Associations and the other State Sporting Organisations in NSW to provide a consistent position across our sport and the wider sports community.

While Tennis NSW can provide guidance, it is the responsibility of the club, coach or venue to undertake its own independent enquiries as to whether that guidance is appropriate to be implemented. We appreciate that many of you are seeking answers for individualised questions that unfortunately we are not in a position to answer. Tennis NSW provides general advice only, and specific advice regarding the circumstances of a particular venue will need to be sought independently.

We are in the process of setting up a dedicated COVID-19 enquiry email address and this will be notified to you when our updated guidance is released next week. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding COVID-19 restrictions and tennis, please contact us at [email protected] We have a team addressing the large volume of enquiries coming through and we will endeavour to get back to all COVID-19 related enquiries within two business days.

Thank you and stay safe
Tennis NSW

Roadmap to freedom unveiled for the fully vaccinated

Stay-at-home orders for adults who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be lifted from the Monday after NSW passes the 70 per cent double vaccination target, under the roadmap to freedom released today.

The roadmap is subject to further fine-tuning and health advice if circumstances change drastically or if cases within a designated area remain too high.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said we are well on the way to hitting the 70 per cent double dose milestone which will allow the state to open up for those who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to get vaccinated – if you have not had both doses of the vaccine by the time we hit the 70 per cent milestone, you will not be able to take advantage of these freedoms,” Ms Berejiklian said.
 
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the NSW Government has worked with industry to design this road map, which is our biggest incentive to get vaccinated, to reach the 70 per cent target as soon as possible.

“Our roadmap outlines the freedoms that twice vaccinated people will enjoy once we reach 70 per cent double dose which means a meal with loved ones or a drink with friends is just around the corner,” Mr Barilaro said.

Only fully vaccinated people and those with medical exemptions will have access to the freedoms allowed under the Reopening NSW roadmap.

The freedoms for vaccinated adults will come into effect on the Monday after NSW hits the 70 per cent double dose target and include:

Gatherings in the home and public spaces:

  • Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home where all adults are vaccinated (not including children 12 and under).
  • Up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings.


Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms:

  • Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
  • Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule (unvaccinated people will continue to only be able to access critical retail).
  • Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.
  • Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
  • Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.


Stadiums, theatres and major outdoor recreation facilities:

  • Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4sqm, capped at 5,000 people.
  • Up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated outdoor events.
  • Indoor entertainment and information facilities including cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries can reopen with one person per 4sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.


Weddings, funerals and places of worship: 

  • Up to 50 guests can attend weddings, with dancing permitted and eating and drinking only while seated.
  • Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking while seated.
  • Churches and places of worship to open subject to one person per 4sqm rule, with no singing.


Travel: 

  • Domestic travel, including trips to regional NSW, will be permitted.
  • Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.
  • Carpooling will be permitted.

Non-vaccinated young people aged under 16 will be able to access all outdoor settings but will only be able to visit indoor venues with members of their household.

Employers must continue to allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so.

There will be revised guidance on isolation for close and casual contacts who are fully vaccinated, with details to be provided closer to the reopening date.


Masks:

  • Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports.
  • Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors.
  • Children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the easing of restrictions would come as a huge relief to struggling businesses and workers, who just want to get their lives back on track, safely.

“This roadmap gives us the light at the end of the tunnel we all want and will enable our economy to start firing again, driving our state back to prosperity,” Mr Perrottet said.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the government will continue to be guided by the health advice, and may still require targeted restrictions to deal with outbreaks.

“As we work toward reopening NSW, it is vital people continue to come forward and get vaccinated to help protect the community and reduce transmission of the virus,” Mr Hazzard.

When NSW hits the 80 per cent double dose target, the government intends to open up further freedoms around international travel, community sport, major events and other areas.

www.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/roadmap-to-freedom-unveiled-for-fully-vaccinated

 

Sent from my iPhone. Pls excuse my typos.

Worried About Breakthrough Infections? Here’s How to Navigate This Phase of the Pandemic | NYT

If you’re vaccinated, you should think about a number of variables, including your overall health, where you live and the risks you take.

Many people are seeking definitive answers about what they can and can’t do after being vaccinated against Covid-19. Is it OK to travel? Should I go to a big wedding? Does the Delta variant make spending time with my vaccinated grandmother more risky?

But there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to those questions because risk changes from one individual to the next, depending on a person’s overall health, where they live and those they spend time with. The bottom line is that vaccines are highly protective against serious illness, and, with some precautions, will allow people to return to more normal lives, experts say. A recent study in Los Angeles County showed that while breakthrough infections can happen, the unvaccinated are 29 times as likely to end up hospitalized from Covid-19 as a vaccinated person.

Experts say anxiety about breakthrough infections remains pervasive, fueled in part by frightening headlines and unrealistic expectations about the role of vaccines.

“There’s been a lot of miscommunication about what the risks really are to vaccinated people, and how vaccinated people should be thinking about their lives,” said Dr. Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. “There are people who think we are back to square one, but we are in a much, much better place.”

While the Delta variant is causing a surge in infections in various hot spots around the country, including Florida and Louisiana, there will eventually be an end to the pandemic. Getting there will require ongoing precautions in the coming months, but vaccinated people will have more freedom to enjoy life than they did during the early lockdowns. Here are answers to some common questions about the road ahead.

What’s my risk of getting Covid if I’m vaccinated?

To understand why there is no simple answer to this question, think about another common risk: driving in a snowstorm. While we know that tens of thousands of people are injured or killed each year on icy roads, your individual risk depends on local conditions, the speed at which you travel, whether you’re wearing a seatbelt, the safety features on your car and whether you encounter a reckless driver on the road.

Your individual risk for Covid after vaccination also depends on local conditions, your overall health, the precautions you take and how often you are exposed to unvaccinated people who could be infected.

“People want to be told what to do — is it safe if I do this?” said Dr. Sharon Balter, director of the division of communicable disease control and prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “What we can say is, ‘These are the things that are more risky, and these are the things that are less risky.’”

Dr. Balter’s team has recently collected surveillance data that give us a clearer picture of the difference in risk to the vaccinated and unvaccinated as the Delta variant surged from May 1 through July 25. They studied infections in 10,895 fully vaccinated people and 30,801 unvaccinated people. The data showed that:

  • The rate of infection in unvaccinated people is five times the rate of infection in vaccinated people. By the end of the study period, the age-adjusted incidence of Covid-19 among unvaccinated persons was 315.1 per 100,000 people over a seven-day period compared to 63.8 per 100,000 incidence rate among fully vaccinated people. (Age adjustment is a statistical method used so the data are representative of the general population.)
  • The rate of hospitalization among the vaccinated was 1 per 100,000 people. The age-adjusted hospitalization rate in unvaccinated persons was 29.4 per 100,000.
  • Older vaccinated people were most vulnerable to serious illness after a breakthrough infection. The median age of vaccinated people who were hospitalized for Covid was 64 years. Among unvaccinated people who were hospitalized, the median age was 49.
  • The Delta variant appears to have increased the risk of breakthrough infections to vaccinated people. At the start of the study, before Delta was dominant, unvaccinated people became infected 10 times as often as vaccinated people did. By the end of study period, when Delta accounted for almost 90 percent of infections, unvaccinated people were five times as likely to get infected as vaccinated people.

What’s the chance of a vaccinated person spreading Covid-19?

While unvaccinated people are by far at highest risk for catching and spreading Covid-19, it’s also possible for a vaccinated person to become infected and transmit the illness to others. A recent outbreak in Provincetown, Mass., where thousands of people gathered in bars and restaurants, showed that vaccinated people can sometimes spread the virus.

Even so, many experts believe the risk of getting infected from a vaccinated person is still relatively low. Dr. Jha noted that after an outbreak among vaccinated and unvaccinated workers at the Singapore airport, tracking studies suggested that most of the spread by vaccinated people happened when they had symptoms.

“When we’ve seen outbreaks, like those among the Yankees earlier in the year and other cases, almost always people are symptomatic when they’re spreading,” Dr. Jha said. “The asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic spread could happen, but we haven’t seen it among vaccinated people with any frequency.”

Another study from Singapore looked at vaccinated and unvaccinated people infected with the Delta variant. The researchers found that while viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated workers are similar at the onset of illness, the amount of virus declines more rapidly in the vaccinated after the first week, suggesting vaccinated people are infectious for a shorter period of time.

Is it still safe to gather unmasked with vaccinated people?

In many cases it will be safe, but the answer depends on a number of variables. The risk is lower with a few close family members and friends than a large group of people you don’t know. Outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings. What’s the community transmission rate? What’s the ventilation in the room? Do you have underlying health issues that would make you vulnerable to complications from Covid-19? Do any of the vaccinated people have a fever, sniffles or a cough?

“The big question is can five people sit around a table unmasked if we know they’re all vaccinated,” Dr. Jha said. “I think the answer is yes. The chances of anybody spreading the virus in that context is exceedingly low. And if someone does spread the virus, the other people are not going to get super sick from it. I certainly think most of us should not fear breakthrough infections to the point where we won’t tolerate doing things we really value in life.”

For larger gatherings or even small gatherings with a highly vulnerable person, rapid antigen testing using home testing kits can lower risk. Asking people to use a test a few days before the event, and then the day of the event, adds another layer of protection. Opening windows and doors or adding a HEPA air cleaner can also help.

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