COVID-19

Hazzard hints at upcoming return to community sport

From Monday, some restrictions will ease for fully vaccinated Sydneysiders, including unlimited exercise for residents of the 12 local government areas of concern, and outdoor recreation time in groups of up to five in other parts of the city.A broad range of restrictions will ease in mid-October, after the state reaches 70 per cent double vaccination. But on Saturday, Health Minister Brad Hazzard dropped a hint that other restrictions could ease within the next month, including the return of community sport, and outdoor gatherings increasing to 10 people, if current vaccination rates continue. NED-4476-Covid-19-Vaccine-Rates-Sydney“As the numbers go up, I think we need to be looking at … what other normality can we bring back into our lives?” he said. When asked why community sport was not currently part of the restrictions easing come 70 per cent vaccination, Mr Hazzard said he wanted to see sport resume. “I think (chief health officer) Dr (Kerry) Chant and the team are aware that trying to get people out to play sport is on the agenda,” he said. “Give us another week and I am fairly confident we will be able to move in that area, but we still need to get those vaccination rates up.”His comments came as NSW recorded a record high of 1599 new cases of Covid-19. While Sydney remains under strict lockdown orders, scores of people flocked to the beach on Saturday as the mercury rose to 29C. A seemingly unfazed Mr Hazzard said he was not concerned. “I am concerned about people who are not vaccinated,” he said. “Fresh air we know is the safest place to be at the present time.”As of Sunday morning, 45 per cent of eligible NSW residents are fully vaccinated.Daily Telegraph – News Feed latest episodeQueensland records no new local Covid casesQueenslanders have narrowly avoided a snap lockdown for another day as the state recorded no new cases of Covid-19. Deputy Premier Steven Miles thanked Queenslanders for doing the right thing, and said the region could “breath a sigh of relief”. “We’re not out of the woods yet, though,” he said. “But this is the best result we could have hoped for at this point of the outbreak.”Victoria records 392 new local Covid casesVictoria has recorded another 392 new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, as the state’s vaccination rate climbs higher. Just 107 have so far been linked to existing outbreaks and cases, suggesting contact tracers are struggling to keep up with the surge.More than 36,000 vaccines were administered on Saturday, and 48,063 tests were carried out. As of Sunday morning, 65 per cent of Victorians have had at least their first dose of vaccine. Sunday’s numbers come as a leading epidemiologist told Nine Newspapers Victoria’s high case numbers were accelerating due to “lockdown fatigue and slow vaccine uptake”. “Victoria came in with a sledgehammer, but that still didn’t work,” Professor Catherine Bennett said. “Every time my partner comes back from his hour of exercise or bike ride, he tells me he’s seen 40 people with no mask and 20 with a mask, so there’s this sense that even early in this lockdown it quickly looked a bit like the end of the last big lockdown.”Melbourne residents have been given no end date for their current lockdown, while locals in regional Victoria (excluding Shepparton) are enjoying their first free weekend after they were released from lockdown. Ballarat residents are on high alert after Covid-19 fragments were found in wastewater. NAT – Stay Informed – Social Media

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