Entertainment The major changes to Covid-19 rules coming to NSW in three weeks
Dominic Perrottet vows NSW will stay open despite Omicron variant
NSW Health confirmed on Sunday two travellers who touched down in Sydney on Saturday night have the new South African Covid variant, Omicron, which is feared to be more transmissible than Delta.NSW Health confirmed on Sunday urgent genomic testing found two travellers who touched down in Sydney from southern Africa on Saturday night have the new strain.
residents will still have to wear masks and check into some venues amid an easing of restrictions once the state reaches 95 per cent double vaccination coverage.
The new rules are expected to come into effect on December 15 and will mean residents will no longer have to show proof of their vaccination status.
While masks are currently required in all indoor settings other than homes, they will soon be limited to those on public transport, in airports or on planes and for front of house hospitality staff who aren't vaccinated.
Another major change surrounds the use of QR check-in codes which will only apply to venues deemed 'high-risk'.
Evacuation order issued as flooding and wild weather continue in NSW
An evacuation order has been issued for residents in parts of the New South Wales local government area of Singleton. Large parts of NSW and Queensland on flood watch after downpour The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) is directing people along the Hunter River within Whittingham, Scotts Flat, Glenridding, Dunolly and Combo areas to evacuate the high danger area by 7pm.Once floodwaters pass 11 metres on the Singleton gauge at Whittingham and Scotts Flat, roads will begin to close.
CHANGES TO NSW COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS AT 95% VAXXED
Masks will only be required on public transport and planes, at airports, and for indoors front-of-house hospitality staff who are not fully vaccinated
QR check-ins will only be required at high-risk venues including hospitals, aged and disability care facilities, gyms, places of worship, funerals or memorial services, personal services (e.g. hairdressers and beauty salons)
Hospitality settings like pubs, small bars, registered clubs and nightclubs and for indoor music festivals with more than 1,000 people will still require QR codes
Proof of vaccination will no longer be required by Public Health Order for most activities (businesses can still require proof at their own discretion).
PM 'fully supports' action by NSW and VIC with Omicron fears growing
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he 'fully supports' the action taken by New South Wales and Victoria amid growing fears over the super-contagious Omicron strain of Covid-19. But Dr Paul Griffin, Director of Infectious Diseases at Mater Health in Brisbane, said it was still too early to judge the risks of Omicron.'I don't think we're back to square one. I mean, I think a lot of us thought this is what this virus is going to keep doing, going to keep evolving and we are going to keep finding new variants,' he told ABC.
Proof of vaccination will still be required for indoor music festivals with more than 1,000 people.
No density limits (previously one person per 2sqm)
Covid safety plans will be optional for businesses and will be supported by SafeWork NSW
These venues include hospitals, gyms, beauty services, places of worship, airports, funerals and aged care facilities.
Select hospitality venues such as small bars and nightclubs will also require patrons to check in.
NSW residents will also no longer have to show proof they're vaccinated for most activities.
Indoor musical festivals with more than 1,000 people will need proof of vaccination while businesses are allowed to choose if they require visitors to be jabbed.
Density limits for businesses and venues will also be scrapped when the milestone is reached.
Mr Perrottet said NSW was 'leading the world' when it came to high levels of vaccinations.
Everything we know about the Omicron Covid strain so far
Epidemiologist Nancy Baxter, who is the head of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at University of Melbourne, said 'there's reason to be concerned but no reason to panic'.Epidemiologist Nancy Baxter, who is the head of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at University of Melbourne, said 'there's reason to be concerned but no reason to panic' about the new variant.
Video: Changes to NSW COVID roadmap explained (Sky News Australia)
'The easing of these restrictions will allow people to get out and enjoy summer providing a boost for some of our hardest industries as we do everything we can to ensure we keep people safe as we learn to live with Covid,' he said.
More than 92 per cent of the state's residents aged 16 and over are now double-jabbed with NSW on track to hit its 95 per cent vaccination target by December 15.
The state government also announced changes for NSW school settings that will no longer require close contacts of Covid cases to isolate.
From Monday students who become close contacts will be required to immediately undertake a PCR test.
Once they test negative students are permitted to return to school so long as they provide negative rapid antigen test results for the next seven consecutive days.
Schools will also no longer be required to shut for deep cleaning or while contact tracing is underway unless multiple cases are identified.
The 44 surprising areas outside the big cities where prices rose 30%
House prices have risen by more than 30 per cent in a year in 44 regional council areas. Remote parts of WA and Tasmania were on the list along with desirable parts of coastal Queensland and NSW.While Byron Bay, Noosa, the Gold Coast and Kiama were on the list, the areas with the sharpest increases were in remote parts of Western Australia and Tasmania - where prices climbed by 45 per cent.
'The people of NSW have worked hard to get to this point, and the government made a commitment that whenever possible we would reduce the disruption to schools,' Mr Perrottet said.
'Schools have managed the pandemic extremely well, I want to thank all staff for the way they have conducted themselves and the efforts they have made to reduce the impacts of Covid on their students.'
The new changes are based off recent Doherty Institute and NSW Health advice aimed at minimising disruptions to schooling for students and families.
NSW Health is meanwhile continuing to rollout its vaccine booster program to residents aged 18 and over who have received their second dose six months ago or longer.
Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said booster shots were important in maintaining high immunity levels among the community through the summer and new year period.
'If you had your second Covid vaccination jab six months or more ago, you should book a booster right now. Don't' forget if you haven't been vaccinated at all go and get the jab to protect yourself and your family,' Mr Hazzard said.
Sajid Javid says Christmas will be 'great' despite Omicron strain .
Sajid Javid said the government was taking 'proportionate and balanced' precautions to 'buy time', but stressed there is no certainty that the 'super-mutant' strain will be able to dodge jabs.The Health Secretary said the government was taking 'proportionate and balanced' precautions to 'buy time', confirming that masks will be compulsory again in shops and on public transport from Tuesday.