“The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is to be congratulated for leading the way in planning for lifting restrictions for the fully vaccinated as we move towards living with COVID-19,” Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.

"Setting clearer timeframes, goals and targets for greater freedoms and for when businesses will reopen, as outlined in the NSW roadmap released today, provides the hope the community and business needs to plan confidently for the future. The balance of risk approach to the decision-making in designing the roadmap is clearly the sensible course at this stage of the pandemic.

"The roadmap provides a model for the consideration by the National Cabinet and for the Victorian and ACT governments in relation to their internal restrictions. It can also serve as a guide for the easing of barriers to interstate movement of people.

"While further details will need to be developed and while there is no doubt scope for refinement, the contours of the NSW plan present a clear advance on the uncertainty confronted by our citizens and our businesses.

"Ai Group fully supports the calls for Australians to get vaccinated. The role of vaccination is clearly central to reducing the health risks to individuals, their families and to public health more broadly. It is also the golden ticket to a resumption of economic recovery,” Mr Willox said.

Ai Group’s NSW Head, Helen Waldron, said: “The roadmap will give businesses confidence to plan for reopening and to gear up for a welcome uplift in business activity.

"The benefits of easing restrictions will flow to jobs in liberated businesses and along the supply chains linked to those businesses.

"It is critical that the NSW Government continues to consult closely with businesses and their representatives as they finalise the reopening plans.

"More clarity on what will open and when and how businesses will be able to operate will need to be developed quickly for the benefits to be realised more widely. Close consultation with the construction industry, for example, is needed in the very near future to provide the clarity required for a full resumption of activity.

"Employers are also keen to know when they will be able to reopen their offices and factories. The economies of our cities, towns and suburbs depend on vibrant centres for work and recreation and employers would value further direction on when there can be a return workplaces that are not currently open,” Ms Waldron said.

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