NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has defended one Covid-19 rule that will remain in place after it was ditched in Victoria.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has defended the decision to continue to enforce density limits, declaring he won’t have his state “compared to Victoria”.
Almost all of Victoria’s remaining Covid-19 rules were scrapped at midnight for the fully vaccinated, including capacity and density limits in a variety of venues.
But density limits of one person per 2sq m are set to stay in NSW even when the state reaches the next phase of its reopening plan.
Mr Perrottet on Friday was asked why the rule would remain and replied by saying his state had been “leading the way to reopen”.
“The reality is there’s very little difference between 2sq m and no limit. Ultimately, I don’t like restrictions as much as anyone else. I want to get government out of the way,” he said.
“I’m not going to get compared to Victoria when they’ve had probably more days in lockdown than anywhere else in the world.”
NSW will next ease restrictions when the state reaches 95 per cent double vaccination or on December 15, 2021, whichever comes first.
That is also the date when unvaccinated people will be allowed to enjoy the same freedoms as the rest of society, including attending non-essential retail and hospitality venues.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has warned unvaccinated people in his state could continue to be locked out from most venues and events until 2023.
In NSW so far, 94.3 per cent of the population over the age of 16 have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine and 91.5 per cent are double-dose vaccinated.
With the vaccination rate slowing down there is the possibility the December 15 date will come before the 95 per cent double-dose threshold is reached.
NSW reported 216 new Covid-19 cases and three deaths on Friday.
There are now 196 people in hospital with the virus with 28 in intensive care.
There were 72,893 Covid-19 tests conducted in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday.
If coronavirus cases continue to fall low-risk venues such as shopping centres and cafes could be the first to abandon mandatory QR check-ins.
Elective surgery has this week returned to full capacity for public and private patients in hospitals in Greater Sydney, including the Nepean Blue Mountains and Illawarra Shoalhaven local health districts.
The cap on non-urgent elective surgery, introduced to free up beds for coronavirus patients, was lifted on Monday.
Health officials say the 75 per cent cap on overnight, non-urgent elective surgery in public and private hospitals can be safely removed due to the high rates of vaccination in NSW and stable levels of community transmission.
Proof of vaccination will no longer be required under public health orders and non-critical retail will be allowed to open to the unvaccinated.