NSW fresh coronavirus infections mostly regional

NSW reported 249 new local COVID cases and three deaths on Friday.

NSW reported 249 new local COVID cases and three deaths on Friday.

New South Wales confirmed three deaths and 249 local cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with most infections detected in regional areas.

It comes as the state eases travel restrictions with Victoria.

Health districts around Sydney reported about 83 cases, with the remaining cases picked up in regional areas.

Those included 73 in the Hunter New England health district, 29 in the Murrumbidgee area and 21 on the Mid North Coast.

Further south, the Illawarra Shoalhaven region reported 14 cases, while five were found in Southern NSW.

A woman in her 80s died at the Southern Cross Care residential facility in Albury. She had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

A fully vaccinated woman in her 90s died at the Mercy Place aged care facility in Albury, where she acquired her infection.

A man in his 80s who had received one dose of the vaccine died at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

On Friday there were 285 COVID-19 cases in hospital, with 61 people in intensive care, 28 on ventilation.

Meanwhile, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and his Victorian counterpart Daniel Andrews issued a joint statement highlighting travel changes which came into effect on Friday.

Victoria declared all NSW local government areas ‘green zones’, removing all testing and quarantine requirements, though visitors from NSW still need to obtain a permit verifying they do not have the virus.

Unvaccinated Victorians remain barred from NSW for travel or recreation.

While people from NSW will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Victoria, they will be subject to the state’s rules preventing the unvaccinated from attending hospitality venues and other settings.

Mr Perrottet told Sydney radio 2GB on Friday the change was “great for business and great for families”.

Families will be able to reunite and travel by air on one of the busiest aeroplane routes in the world.

“We’re slowly getting back to normality,” Mr Perrottet said.

The state recorded 80,581 tests in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday.

NSW has fully vaccinated 89.1 per cent of its population aged over 16, while 93.8 per cent have had at least one dose.

Victoria is not far behind, with 92.7 per cent single-dose coverage and 82.5 per cent double-dosed.

Despite other restrictions lifting, NSW school students sitting the HSC from next week will still have to wear masks when they do their exams.

There are concerns elderly examiners could be put at risk if children are not wearing masks.

Wearing a mask also reduces the risk of a student being deemed a close contact and having to isolate if there is a case at a school, Mr Perrottet said.

-with AAP

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