In the 24-hour period ending at 8 p.m. Sunday, New South Wales recorded 496 locally transmitted Covid cases and eight deaths.
Today, a swath of restrictions were lifted for fully vaccinated people in the state’s lockdown zones, including Greater Sydney.
There are now 769 people in hospital with the virus, with 153 in the intensive care unit and more than 50 still on ventilators.
In NSW, 90.3 percent of people aged 16 and up have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 73% fully immunised.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet today said cases were expected to rise as the state opens up.
“We’re certainly expecting to see an increase in case numbers [but] if you look back at the model that we released earlier, we’re actually much below where we thought that we would be,” he said.
“There will be naturally a lag [in cases, but] our health system is ready. The alternative is to stay closed.
“We’ve said to our people that if we can get the vaccination rate up, that’s the best way to protect you and your loved ones from Covid.”
Mr Perrottet was keen to put the focus on the economy.
“NSW you have earned it, enjoy it, it’s a great day, it’s a day we should all be pleased at arriving at,” he said.
“There will be challenges that come our way. But we have to open up. And we have to get people back into work.
“We have to have businesses open for people’s mental health.”
Across Sydney, businesses from gyms to hairdressers have celebrated the easing of restrictions.
Tribe Leichhardt Gym owner Karlah Van Arend said it was a great atmosphere this morning.
“Amazing … I’m still buzzing from this morning,” she said.
“All of our classes were packed out, fully booked. I think everyone was just raring to get back into the gym.”
Perrottet was among a cohort of people getting haircuts this morning, and lines could be seen outside several salons this morning.
Hairdressser Joh Bailey said the Double Bay salon was now fully booked, after a difficult 107 days.
“I feel sorry for smaller businesses than ours – the hard-working Australians who have small businesses,” he said.
“We are in a lucky position that we managed to get through it.
“Our staff have been incredible and very supportive.
“They’re all double-vaxxed, we’re all here and we’re ready to cut your hair.”
The salon was the centre of Covid-19 cluster outbreak at the end of June, with more than 12 cases connected to the Double Bay business, which also saw more than 1000 people forced to isolate.
Victoria records eight deaths, 1612 new cases
Victoria has recorded 1612 new local cases of Covid-19 and eight deaths as the state edges closer to its vaccination goals.
The new cases were detected from 73,138 test results processed yesterday, and take the state’s active cases to 19,012.
There were 34,279 doses of vaccine administered at state-run sites and thousands more at GPs and pharmacies.
The death toll for the current outbreak in Victoria now stands at 93.
More than 85 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 have had at least one dose of vaccine.
A small number of venues across regional Victoria have begun a “vaccinated economy” trial today, testing the systems the state plans to use when it hits the 70 per cent and 80 per cent vaccination thresholds outlined in its roadmaps to reopening.
But an outbreak at Mildura in the state’s north-west is growing, with more exposure sites listed online days after the rural city was placed into a week-long lockdown.