- NSW has recorded 1029 new COVID-19 cases — again smashing Australia’s daily record for case numbers since the pandemic began
- Another three people died after contracting the virus, with one of the deceased a man in his 30s from western Sydney who died at home
- Premier Gladys Berejiklian says those who are fully vaccinated can hold gatherings of up to five people indoors and outdoors from mid-September
- Victoria reported 80 new cases of the virus on Thursday, while New Zealand notched up 68 new COVID-19 cases across the country
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison is also tipped to announce a widening of Australia COVID-19 vaccine rollout to include those aged between 12 and 15
NSW has recorded 1029 new COVID-19 cases — again smashing Australia’s daily record for case numbers since the pandemic began.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the state had tipped over the 1000 case mark on Thursday morning and another three people had died.
One of the deceased was a man in his 30s and authorities confirmed all of the dead had been unvaccinated and also died at home.
Despite the leap in daily case numbers, Premier Berejiklian said those who were fully vaccinated would be offered more freedom from September 13.
The Premier said vaccinated residents not living in hot spots would be able to hold outdoor gatherings of up to five people.
For those living in areas of high transmission, vaccinated households will be allowed to gather outside with their housemates for an extra hour per day.
“We know people coming together is what people miss the most,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“From the various options we looked at, that was the option that met the mental health needs and wellbeing of our community, but also provided the lowest-risk setting.”
Ms Berejiklian said further restrictions would be dropped once NSW hit its next vaccination target of 70 per cent immunity.
“NSW is calling on industry and citizens to get ready for when we are 70 per cent double-vaccinated. That’s when things will start to open,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Regional lockdown extended
Meanwhile, regional NSW today had its lockdown extended again, with restrictions to remain in place until September 10.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said there had been a spike in cases in the regions and it was critical that residents stayed home.
“The decision to extend the lockdown is one to protect communities and protect the regions,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We’re sitting on a knife-edge. It’s a tinderbox ready to explode.”
Victoria reported 80 new cases of the virus on Thursday, with health authorities revealing 180 of the state’s 600 active cases were in people aged under 20.
Currently most state and territories across Australia are offering COVID-19 vaccines only to those aged over 16.
However Prime Minister Scott Morrison is meeting with the National Security Committee of Cabinet today to discuss approving the Pfizer vaccine for all 12-15 year olds.