SYDNEY, October 13 (Hfrance.fr) - New South Wales could ease more restrictions in Sydney a week ahead of schedule on October 18 as Australia's most populous state heads towards its target of 80% double-dose vaccination, the government said on Wednesday.
Southeastern state is expected to meet target over the weekend. end, beating forecasts and officials had previously promised to ease additional restrictions on residents vaccinated on the first Monday after reaching that milestone.
"If we reach 80%, we always said it would be the following Monday," Prime Minister of State Dominic Perrottet told ABC radio. "We will have this discussion with our team on Thursday and we will make a decision which will be announced on Friday.
Retail stores, pubs and gyms may allow pread from clients vaccinated when inoculation reaches 80%. Mandatory masks will not be required inside offices and nightclubs can reopen for seated drinking, while weddings can have unlimited number of guests.
Sydney's population of over 5 million emerged from a lockdown nearly four months after reaching the 70% vaccination target on Monday, officials at State promising gradual easing of remaining restrictions once vaccination rates reach 80% and 90%. learn more
The NSW government warned that infections would increase with the reopening, but dismissed warnings from some health experts that hospitals could be overwhelmed by the case of COVID-19 in the cadre of Perrottet's strategy of living with the virus.
Daily infections in New South Wales rose to 444 on Wednesday, from 360 a day earlier, but well below the pandemic peak of 1,599 in early September.
Australia is in the throes of a third wave of infections powered by the Delta variant that hit Sydney and Melbourne, its largest cities and the capital Canberra.
Canberra's 400,000 residents will come out of lockdown on Friday, while the first-dose vaccination rate exceeded 95%, one of the highest among Australian regional capitals.
Victoria, which includes Melbourne, suffered on the deadliest day of the Delta outbreak on Wednesday with 13 deaths. It reported 1,571 new infections, up from 1,466 on Tuesday.
Even with theDelta epidemics, Australia has managed to keep its coronavirus count relatively low, with some 133,400 cases and 1,478 deaths. Renju Jose report; Edited by Stephen Coates
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