GPs, pharmacies join COVID-19 booster program as NSW awakes to new freedoms

“There is plenty of vaccine for all of us to get our booster.”

Australia passed a major milestone over the weekend of having 80 per cent of the national population aged 16 and over fully vaccinated.

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But Dr Bennett is urging everyone to get on board and be vaccinated.

“COVID will be in the community in each and every area of Australia over time as we open up,” she warned.

“Everyone will be at risk of being exposed to COVID. The best way to protect yourself against diseases is to get vaccinated.”

Expanded freedoms in NSW

Meanwhile double-jabbed NSW residents can now gather in bigger numbers while school kids will be allowed assemblies and excursions on the first day of expanded freedoms under the state’s revised COVID-19 road map.

From Monday, NSW businesses will move to density restrictions of one person for every two square metres and fully vaccinated diners can book without number limits.

As many as 1,000 people can gather outdoors while stadiums, racecourses, theme parks, zoos, cinemas and theatres can operate at 100 per cent of their fixed-seated capacity.

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NSW is on the brink of hitting 90 per cent full vaccination of people aged 16 and over, with 89.8 per cent now double-dosed.

School children will be able to enjoy music classes, excursions and assemblies from Monday while teachers who aren’t fully vaccinated will be suspended.

It was revealed at a budget estimates hearing in NSW Parliament last week that about 4,900 teachers had not yet advised the Education Department of their vaccination status.

All unvaccinated NSW residents will have to wait until 15 December or when the state reaches a 95 per cent double-vaccination rate to enjoy greater freedoms.

Hundreds of protesters largely dressed in white came together to oppose vaccine mandates on Sunday in Parramatta, Wollongong, Coolangatta and on the Central Coast as part of “Reclaim The Line” rallies.

Fully vaccinated residents enjoy greater freedoms from Monday 8 November.

Source: AAP

Another 244 local COVID-19 cases were reported in NSW on Sunday along with one death, an unvaccinated man in his 60s from Albury who died at Melbourne’s Box Hill Hospital.

There are 269 patients battling the virus in hospitals across the state, 52 of whom are in intensive care.

From Monday Sydney’s mass COVID-19 vaccination hub at Qudos Bank Arena will be closed after delivering more than 360,000 vaccine doses since opening on 9 August.

The arena will return to hosting sport and entertainment events.

Elsewhere, Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner extended the three-day lockdown in Greater Darwin by 24 hours until midnight on Monday to allow time for much-needed contact testing.

Katherine also went from a lockdown to a lockout on Sunday afternoon, with only vaccinated people permitted to move about freely the community.

Victoria reported another nine fatalities, while recording 1,173 new infections on Sunday.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday unveiled a $44 million package to revitalise Melbourne’s CBD, which includes $10.4 million to help businesses trade outdoors and at night, and $15.7 million to boost the city’s events calendar.

The ACT recorded 13 new infections and Queensland also announced three cases in hotel quarantine.

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