More freedoms in NSW, as virus rules are wound back

NSW restaurants have eased virus rules for fully vaccinated customers from Monday.

NSW restaurants have eased virus rules for fully vaccinated customers from Monday. Photo: Getty

Another 187 local cases of COVID and seven deaths have been recorded in NSW as freedoms expand for the state’s double-jabbed residents.

From Monday, fully vaccinated people can gather in bigger numbers indoors and outdoors while school kids are allowed assemblies and excursions, under the state’s revised COVID-19 road map.

NSW businesses will move to density restrictions of one person for every two square metres and fully vaccinated diners can book without number limits.

As many as 1000 people can gather outdoors while stadiums, racecourses, theme parks, zoos, cinemas and theatres can operate at 100 per cent of their fixed-seated capacity.

School children will be able to enjoy music classes, excursions and assemblies from Monday. However, teachers who aren’t fully vaccinated will be suspended.

A parliamentary committee was told last week that about 4900 teachers had not yet advised the Education Department of their vaccination status.

NSW is on the brink of hitting 90 per cent full vaccination coverage for people aged 16 and over, with 89.8 per cent double-dosed.

All unvaccinated NSW residents will have to wait until December 15 or when the state reaches a 95 per cent double-vaccination rate to enjoy greater freedoms.

On Sunday, hundreds of protesters largely dressed in white turned out to oppose vaccine mandates in Parramatta, Wollongong, Coolangatta and on the Central Coast as part of “Reclaim The Line” rallies.

From Monday, Sydney’s mass COVID-19 vaccination hub at Qudos Bank Arena has closed after delivering more than 360,000 vaccine doses since opening on August 9.

The arena will return to hosting sport and entertainment events.

There were 52,939 tests in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.

There are 264 patients battling the virus in hospitals across the state, 48 of whom are in intensive care.

Elsewhere, Victoria reported another 1126 local cases on Monday, and five more deaths.

There is also COVID alarm in Queensland, with potential exposure at opposite ends of the state – although there were no local cases to report on Monday.

Late on Sunday, Darling Downs Health restricted visitor access to Toowoomba hospital due potential virus exposure.

“Our public health unit is investigating a possible exposure of COVID-19 at the Toowoomba hospital linked to the recent Goondiwindi outbreak,” DDH said in a statement on Facebook on Sunday.

In the state’s far north, authorities are tracking down people who were at five venues in Cairns and Mission Beach when a COVID-19 patient, who is now in the Northern Territory, visited two weeks ago.

Authorities are also tracking down passengers who arrived in Cairns on the same flight as the woman from Adelaide on October 25.

The 21-year-old is the index case of the NT’s three-case cluster, which triggered a three-day lockdown in Katherine and restrictions for Greater Darwin.

It came as the COVID vaccine booster program stepped up across Australia. Everyone who has had two shots of a vaccine six months ago is eligible for a Pfizer booster.


Topics: NSW
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