NSW records 301 cases, 10 deaths

NSW has added 301 new locally acquired infections to its COVID-19 caseload, a day after reaching 80 per cent double-dose vaccination of eligible residents.

There are currently 619 virus patients in the state’s hospitals, 137 of them in intensive care.

Health officials say NSW conducted more than 69,000 COVID-19 tests in the 24 hours to Saturday evening.


Some 91.9 per cent of people aged 16 and over have now had one dose of a vaccine and 80 per cent both.

The milestone means a return of community sport and dancing at hospitality venues.

Premier Dominic Perrottet revealed the target had been reached on Saturday afternoon, saying that “summer in NSW is looking good”.

The number of 12- to 15-year-olds getting the jab is also rising – 74 per cent of the age group has had at least one dose, and 31.9 per cent is fully vaccinated.

The next stage of reopening will come just one week after lockdown was eased for the fully vaccinated on October 11.

It means fully vaccinated people can have up to 20 people to their home, and 50 people can gather outdoors.

There won’t be any caps on hospitality venue bookings and patrons will be able to have a boogie – except at nightclubs, which will be allowed to open for the first time.

The 100-person cap for weddings and funerals will be removed, as will the five-person cap for beauticians and hairdressers.

As well, masks will no longer be required in office buildings.

All of these freedoms are limited to the fully vaccinated until December.

After 10,000 people gathered at Randwick Racecourse for The Everest on Saturday, the government has given the green light for future racing events to have the same capacity.

The Golden Eagle at Rosehill and the Bentley Cup on Melbourne Cup Day at Royal Randwick can host 10,000 double-vaccinated patrons if they adhere to public health orders, Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson announced on Saturday.

“The people of NSW have done an incredible job rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated allowing us to welcome more people back to iconic events and get our economy firing again,” Mr Anderson said in a statement.

© AAP 2021