NSW records 863 new COVID-19 cases and seven deaths as Premier defends denying freedoms to the unvaccinated

| 28.09,21. 03:53 PM |

NSW records 863 new COVID-19 cases and seven deaths as Premier defends denying freedoms to the unvaccinated


a masked young girl in a car being vaccinated by a nurse
NSW is projected to reach 70 per cent vaccination before October 6.(

AAP: Dan Himbrechts

)


NSW has recorded 863 COVID-19 infections and seven deaths after Premier Gladys Berejiklian defended the government's stance on denying freedoms to the unvaccinated before December.

As the rolling seven-day average of daily cases continued to trend down, the NSW government also announced stay-at-home orders for the Tweed and Byron Shire government areas would be lifted at midnight.

The snap lockdown was linked to a crew member connected to reality show I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here who travelled from Sydney and allegedly breached public health orders.

However, Health Minister Brad Hazzard said health authorities were monitoring other NSW regions which had seen an increase in cases including Port Macquarie, Kempsey and Muswellbrook.

"There's more work to do … but I'm putting the community on notice that there may be a further announcement today in regard to [those three] areas," he said.

"We just need to make some final decisions … in the meantime, my strong advice as Health Minister to all the residents in those areas is to be very cautious where you're moving."

Earlier today, Ms Berejikilian said her government went harder on people who are unvaccinated by defying health modelling which recommended allowing them to fully participate in society before December.

The NSW government yesterday unveiled the COVID-19 freedom roadmap which would come into effect once 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 16 or over had received both doses of the vaccine.

Included in the restrictions that will ease at 80 per cent are allowing 10 visitors at a home and being able to stand and drink in pubs.

People who remained unvaccinated would be excluded from those restrictions projected for the second-half of October.

Any person who had not received both doses of the vaccine would remain under lockdown until at least December 1.

Ms Berejiklian, in response to criticism that she was giving people an option to not get the jab, said she took a tougher stance than what key health advice recommended.

"No matter what decision I announced yesterday, I would've been criticised," Ms Berejiklian told ABC News Breakfast on Tuesday.

"The Doherty report recommended from 80 per cent that unvaccinated people participate in society. We said no, we're going harder and more conservative.

"I anticipate in a couple of weeks' time, we'll have at least 90 per cent of the adult population with a first dose. When you sign up for the first dose, you're going to sign up for the second one."

Earlier, the Premier told Channel 7's Sunrise life would be "very difficult indefinitely" for the unvaccinated.

"Even though the government is saying unvaccinated people might have other rights from December 1, a lot of airlines have said they will not carry anybody who is not vaccinated," she said.

"A lot of businesses have said they will not accept anyone who is unvaccinated."

Hotel in Newtown
The hospitality industry is keen to get back to work, but there are worries about how the rules will be enforced.(

AAP: Joel Carrett

)

Business owners and the hotel industry in NSW expressed concern after yesterday's roadmap announcement about having to enforce vaccine passports.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller told 2GB this morning police officers would have powers to request vaccination statuses, but they would "not be walking through restaurants and cafes and pubs checking if people are double vaccinated".

Commissioner Fuller said clubs and pubs would know how to deal with "rough riders" but police would "certainly be assisting restaurant owners and shop owners if they are refusing entry to someone".

Mr Hazzard said he had full confidence police would be "enforcing public health orders".

BreastScreen NSW director Sarah McGill said the organisation was working towards again providing free mammograms to women after being forced to temporarily suspend screening because of the Delta outbreak.

Ms McGill said they were "working towards resuming services across the state on a case-by-case, site-by-site location".

"Our priority, with all services, will be to rebook women as soon as we possibly can, women who have had their appointment cancelled due to the temporary suspension will be contacted by their local services and allocated a prioritised booking."

Of the seven COVID-19 deaths announced today three had two doses of the vaccine, three had one dose and one person was not vaccinated.

Across NSW, 85.7 per cent of the over-16 population has received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 60.4 per cent are fully vaccinated.



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