Deniliquin Pastoral Times
New South Wales seems to be speeding toward its next vaccine target.
The state population reached 80 per cent double dose mark a week early, on Sunday.
Under the original roadmap it was to be the trigger for travel to regional NSW, but the NSW Government has tentatively referred travel opening up to November 1.
‘‘We have reached this vaccination milestone quicker than anyone thought we could, and that is a testament to the hard work of people across the State turning out to get vaccinated,” Premier Dominic Perrottet said.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the return to metroregional travel would be good for regional economies.
‘‘Everyone has done a brilliant job of getting vaccinated and rates are rising fast; however we have looked at the health modelling and listened to feedback from regional communities who want more time to get their double dose vaccination rates up as high as possible before they welcome back visitors,” Mr Toole said.
‘‘We know businesses in regional New South Wales were getting ready to welcome people back, but it’s important we get this right so that we can have greater confidence the vaccines will do their job – and that when we re-open travel to the regions, they can remain open and that businesses have continued support in the meantime. We thank people for their patience.’’
In anticipation of the return of regional travel, Edward River Council is urging local residents to come forward and get the vaccine.
Official data from the Federal Government shows Edward River’s vaccine rates are lagging behind much of the state.
Last week’s weekly report shows 64.2 per cent of eligible residents have received a first dose, and 47.7 per cent second dose.
While there is some conjecture at the accuracy of the data, perhaps skewed by addresses on file with Medicare, Mayor Norm Brennan urged those yet to be fully vaccinated to continue booking.
‘‘The latest data for our vaccination rates shows that we are amongst the lowest in the entire state.
‘‘This news is not good and we really have no excuse for it now,’’ Cr Brennan said.
Now NSW has reached 80 per cent, community sport will be allowed to resume and there will no longer be a cap on guests at weddings and funerals.
Office staff are no longer required to wear masks at work.
Drinking while standing and dancing will be permitted indoors and outdoors at hospitality venues.
NSW is likely to reach the 90 per cent double vaccination point from November 1, which will see caps at hospitality venues removed.
It is also at 90 per cent the NSW Government will remove quarantine requirements and caps for overseas arrivals who are fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved vaccine — that being Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca.
Overseas arrivals who are not fully vaccinated will be capped at 210 people per week, and will be required to undergo mandatory 14-days hotel quarantine.
NSW residents will still need to comply with COVID-Safe check-ins and provide proof of full vaccination to staff in most settings.
More restrictions will be relaxed on December 1, as previously announced in the Reopening NSW Roadmap.