NSW premier to decide on plan for 80pc vax

The galloping pace of vaccinations in NSW will likely force Premier Dominic Perrottet to confront a question: what do we do if we get to the 80 per cent target a week early?

The state’s reopening roadmap – and what adjustments will be needed if NSW reaches 80 per cent double dose by the weekend – will be the subject of discussion when Mr Perrottet meets with senior colleagues on Thursday.

The government has promised that the next stage of the post-lockdown reopening will start the Monday after the state reaches 80 per cent full vaccination among its eligible population.

With some 76.5 per cent of people over 16 already fully vaccinated by Tuesday, that could happen as soon as this weekend.

Vaccinations are outpacing earlier expectations, which would have seen the next stage reached on October 25.

The government’s COVID-19 and economic recovery committee – formerly known as crisis cabinet – will on Thursday discuss postponing regional travel given the lower vaccination coverage in rural communities.

“There has been concerns raised about regional NSW when you look at those double dose vaccination rates,” Mr Perrottet told reporters on Wednesday.

“(But) we don’t make decisions on a knee jerk reaction. We make decisions in consultation with our health and economic teams.

Pubs, restaurants, gyms and shops have been open to the fully vaccinated since Monday.

The next stage would see outdoor gatherings of up to 50, 20 guests in a home, dancing at hospitality venues and drinking standing up at the pub.

NSW recorded 444 new locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday.

Four more people died, all from southwest or western Sydney.

Two were fully vaccinated but had underlying heath conditions.

More than 700 COVID-19 patients are in hospital, with 150 in intensive care – half of whom require ventilation.

The Fort News