NSW COVID-19 rules could ease further next week as it approaches vaccine target

As New South Wales moves closer to its next reopening vaccination target, it has recorded 444 new local COVID-19 cases and four more deaths.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet speaks to the media during a press conference in Sydney, Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet speaks to the media during a press conference. Source: AAP

New South Wales has recorded 444 new local COVID-19 cases and four deaths in the past 24 hours, as the state moves closer to its next reopening vaccination target.

More than 105,500 tests were reported in the 24 hours to 8pm Tuesday.

Some 716 people are in hospital, with 150 receiving intensive care. 

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has flagged more new freedoms for the state next week, saying dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is "one, two and three" on his to-do list.

"That is the sole focus of the government," Mr Perrottet told AAP.

"We need to get through this as well as we can. We're going to lead the nation out of this pandemic here in NSW, and there's so many things to do in that space."

The state is rapidly approaching its next vaccination milestone, just three days into the reopening triggered on Monday after 70 per cent of eligible residents got both jabs.

Some 75.23 per cent of residents over 16 are fully vaccinated and 90.77 per cent have had at least one dose.

NSW Premier welcomes 'Freedom Day' after over 100 days in lockdown

NSW could reach the 80 per cent fully vaccinated milestone by Sunday, setting the stage for the next phase in the state's reopening next week.

"The success of our vaccination rate has been absolutely superb ... When we hit 80 per cent, we've always said it will be the Monday following," Mr Perrottet said.

The government's COVID-19 and economic recovery committee - formerly known as crisis cabinet - will discuss on Thursday further postponing regional travel given the lower vaccination coverage in rural communities.

"There have been issues raised. We haven't made any decisions yet," Mr Perrottet told reporters.

"We don't make decisions on a knee jerk reaction. We make decisions in consultation with our health and economic teams."

"We will consider those issues tomorrow."

As things currently stand, the next phase of the roadmap paves the way for outdoor gatherings of up to 50 vaccinated people, 20 guests in a home, dancing at hospitality venues and drinking standing up at the pub.

Travel across NSW would be allowed, as would carpooling, weddings of any size if the venue is large enough, and community sport.

But the state continues to record hundreds of new cases a day, as well as additional deaths.

Of the four people who died on Tuesday - all from west or southwest Sydney - three people were in their 70s and one in their 60s.

Two were fully vaccinated but had underlying health conditions.

Meanwhile, Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello says the Service NSW app's vaccination passport function could be rolled out statewide sooner than next Monday.

He said the regional pilots for the function are progressing well, while the app's security settings will be boosted - including the removal of dates of birth from vaccination passports.

Published 13 October 2021 at 9:08am, updated 13 October 2021 at 12:59pm
Source: AAP - SBS