NSW virus restrictions to remain in place as state records more than 18,000 cases
NSW will extend the existing pandemic rules – such as indoor mask mandates and capacity limits at pubs – for another month.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the decision was made out of caution as the state’s third vaccine dose numbers slowly increase.
“We want to maintain that cautious approach as we continue to get our booster programme moving,” he said.
“So the restrictions that we put in place last year we will be rolling over for another month.”
The rules include capacity limits of one person per two square metres indoors at hospitality venues, and mandatory masks at all indoor spaces except homes.
They also include compulsory QR check-ins at certain venues, and a ban on singing and dancing at most public events.
The announcement came on the two-year-anniversary of Australia’s first confirmed coronavirus case, which was detected in NSW.
The state recorded 29 Covid-related deaths and 2943 infected people are in hospital.
The day’s case numbers were up slightly from the day before, with 18,512 new infections of Covid-19, 9422 detected through PCR tests and 9090 from at-home rapid antigen tests (RAT).
Out of the people in hospital, 183 were in intensive care. By comparison, 2816 were in hospital and 196 in ICU the day before.
“Our hospital numbers have definitely plateaued,” NSW Health deputy secretary Susan Pearce said.
“We're watching very carefully this week to see what they do next.”
A massive 95.3 per cent of people aged over 16 have had one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 93.9 per cent are double vaccinated and 33.8 per cent have had their booster shot.
Up to 82.7 per cent of children aged 12-15 have had one vaccine dose and 78.3 per cent have had two.
Since children have been eligible for a vaccine, 28.7 per cent of NSW kids aged five to 11 have had their first jab.
Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant on Monday said the virus is “stabilising” across the state, but warns cases could pick back up once students return to school.
“It is pleasing that our assessment indicates the spread of the Covid virus is slowing,” Dr Chant told media on Monday.
“Our situation is stabilising.”
Premier Dominic Perrottet on Sunday unveiled a back-to-school plan with a key plank being the use of rapid antigen tests for students and staff, to be taken twice a week.
Schools will no longer be closed once a positive case was identified, and contact-tracing would not be completed, while they will be required to carry out an improved cleaning regimen, while limited visitors will be allowed on school grounds.
Face masks will be made mandatory for all teachers and high school students, but not primary school children.
Air purifiers are being installed in “problem areas” and windows in older buildings are being repaired to ensure they can be opened and allow appropriate airflow.
Originally published as NSW virus restrictions to remain in place as state records more than 18,000 cases
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