NSW Covid-19 updates: Restrictions eased as vaccinated Sydneysiders enjoy ‘picnic day’

Sydneysiders woke to new freedoms on Monday with many flocking to local parks and beaches to celebrate.

Fully vaccinated Sydneysiders flocked to parks and beaches on Monday to enjoy the long-awaited ‘picnic day’.

Monday marked the first day Sydney residents could enjoy recreation in groups of up to five, so long as they were within 5km of home and were carrying proof they’d received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Residents gathered across Sydney to take advantage of the eased restrictions, as NSW enters the promised final month of lockdown.

Eastern suburbs residents Ashlyn Hannam and her daughter Matilda met with friends Jennifer Gill and her children, Harper and Bonnie.

Ms Hannam said they had been looking forward to the picnic since it was announced several weeks ago as part of restrictions that were being relaxed on September 13.

“It was really great to finally see friends again,” Ms Hannam said.

“We had a picnic at Double Bay … our children are friends and they hadn‘t seen each other in a while, so it was really special for us.”

Picnic day was cut short by rain and strong winds which rolled in at 11am, just as the premier Gladys Berejiklian was starting a Covid-19 press conference.

However, like Ms Hannam, several nurses from the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick got in early and enjoyed a picnic in the morning sun – which the healthcare workers thoroughly earned while fighting the pandemic on the frontline.

Nurse Olivia Parmenter met with friends Amanda Pritchard, Aoife McLoughlin, Liz Foat and Zoe Whitehouse at Dunningham Park near Coogee Beach.

Picnic day could not have timed better given Ms McLoughlin is moving back to Ireland on Wednesday, so the nurses had two reasons to celebrate.

“It was so nice … it was just a lot of fun to all be together again in a relaxed environment,” Ms Parmenter said.

“We could put our hair down and have some fun. It was actually perfect as Aoife had just worked her last shift in Australia before moving back to Ireland. We got some beautiful weather before the rain came and it was just lovely.”

Originally published as How Sydney spent first day of new freedoms as many celebrated ‘picnic day’

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