Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has suggested that the date for a further easing of the restrictions may be brought forward as the state reaches a new milestone with 85 per cent of people over 16 now fully vaccinated.

According to the roadmap, several restrictions must be lifted on 1 December, when those who have not been vaccinated have greater freedoms.

But Mr Perrottet signaled today that this can happen sooner.

“We will look at aspects of the roadmap in the COVID Economic Recovery Committee this week,” Perrottet said.

“Vaccination rates have made it possible to visit some areas again and we will look into that.”

There were 282 new cases of COVID-19 and one death reported within 24 hours to 1 p.m.

Figures released yesterday revealed that three of the four local health districts reporting the highest number of new cases were in regional areas outside Sydney.

Hunter New England and Murrumbidgee have overtaken South Western Sydney with the Mid North Coast in fourth place.

People are sitting in the Sydney CBD
NSW is the first Australian jurisdiction to reach the 85 per cent vaccination rate.(AAP: Bianca de Marchi)

The vaccination rate in the regions has been lower than in Sydney, and the Prime Minister said it had been “the right decision” to postpone the journey from Sydney to regional areas until 1 November to allow regional areas to catch up.

“I’m very sure that by the first November date, we’ll be ready to go,” he said.

Across the state, 93.1 percent of those over 16 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In the age group 12-15 years, 78 percent have received their first dose and 51.5 percent are fully vaccinated.

More than 12 million vaccine doses have now been administered across NSW.

The number of COVID patients currently being treated at NSW hospitals stands at 457 with 109 people in need of intensive care.

The latest data collected by NSW Health showed that from the start of the Delta outbreak until October 9, 87.2 percent of those hospitalized with COVID-19 and just over 90 percent of those in need of intensive care, not on the immunization register.

The fully vaccinated made up only 5.6 percent of the inpatients and 3.1 percent of those in intensive care.

In the last four months, 503 people in NSW have died with COVID-19.

Just over 76 per cent had no registration of vaccination, while 11.7 per cent had been fully vaccinated and 12 per cent had received one dose.

Of the 51 fully vaccinated people who died, two-thirds were over 70 years old.

The premiere said it was a “great relief” to see students return to school.

He said he was willing to reconsider the requirement for HSC students to wear masks during their exams.

“Glad to see it,” he said.

Cruise ships have been absent from NSW waters since the start of the pandemic when the Ruby Princess triggered an eruption in Sydney that led to at least 900 infections and 28 deaths.

In March 2019, more than 2,500 passengers were allowed to leave the Ruby Princess without being tested, despite a number of suspected COVID-19 cases on board.

Sir. Perrottet said more than 18 months later that he was keen to see the cruise industry return.

“We will do what we can to get back as safely as possible and as quickly as possible,” he said.

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