Berejiklian says the decision to ease restrictions in the areas of concern – or at least bring them into line with the rest of Sydney – was in large part due to the very high vaccination rates in those areas.
We have seen some of those communities go from rates of around 19$ or 20% up to nearly 90% and is extremely encouraging. The health experts also advised that in some of those areas of concern, we have seen a decline, the curve is starting to change, but what is always concerning us is that any super spreader event, anyone being too complacent actually can things very quickly.
McAnulty is asked whether NSW cases have peaked – today’s numbers are down and the cases appear to have stabilised over the past week.
It is very encouraging, the numbers today are fewer than the case numbers we had yesterday. We do like to see, we don’t want to jump the gun, but we do like to see several days before we can call it a trend but certainly cases overall have been going up, they have stabilised and appear to be dropping in some areas, an area where we have had rapidly increasing vaccination uptake as well as good compliance, but in other areas of the state, particularly Illawarra and the Central Coast we have seen [cases rising].
Some good news regarding an outbreak in social housing towers in Redfern in inner Sydney.
McAnulty says the outbreak there remains at 20 cases – where it was on Saturday.
That’s positive to hear – those towers are home to about 630 residents and there have been concerns the outbreak could spread quickly. McAnulty says there has been a fantastic response from residents.
We really want to thank the community in that part of Redfern for coming forward for testing and vaccination. We have had a fantastic response in recent days and that is continuing.
The NSW deputy chief medical officer Jeremy McAnulty says 13 people died from Covid overnight – nine men and four women.
One person was in their 40s, two people in their 50s, two people in their 60s, five people in their 70s, and three people in their 80s.
Five people were from western Sydney, two people were from south-western Sydney, two people were from northern Sydney, two people were from Sydney’s inner city, one person was from southern Sydney and one person was from Dubbo.
Of the 13 people who died with Covid-19, nine people were not vaccinated, two people had received one dose of a Covid-19 and two people – a man in his 80s and a woman in her 70s, both with underlying health conditions – had received two doses.
Berejiklian says case numbers mean they are “comfortable enough” with the Covid numbers to ease those extra restrictions but says it’s too early to say whether the numbers have peaked.
We don’t know if we have passed that peak or not, however the signs are positive.”
Berejiklian announces that from tomorrow across greater Sydney, the rules will now be the same across all LGAs except for restrictions around authorised workers.
It means the western Sydney LGAs “of concern” will have those heavier restrictions lifted to bring them in line with the rest of the city. In practice, that means picnics will be allowed in those LGAs and the outdoor time limits will be lifted.
Berejiklian says the decision “equalises” the rules across the city. She thanked the residents of western and south-western Sydney.
They have led the way in our vaccination rates, they have shown us the way, and what it means to be resilient and strong, I can only imagine what it meant for families, and what it has meant for households to have to endure those restrictions for such a long period of time.
The New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, is speaking now.
NSW recorded 1,083 cases of Covid-19 to 8pm last night.
Berejiklian says NSW has reached 81.9% first vaccination doses.
The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, is holding a press conference in Brisbane. The state has recorded no new cases of Covid-19 in the community or in hotel quarantine.
Palaszczuk is urging people to get vaccinated after the state controversially made the Pfizer vaccine available to over 60s. She’s urging people to attend walk-in Pfizer clinics.
She says 59% of Queenslanders have now received one dose of the vaccine.
This is an interesting piece on the people for whom the end of Covid restrictions sparks fear rather than joy.
Racquel Sherry, 49 and based in Sydney, is immunocompromised and afraid.
In the roadmap to freedom, I hear nothing about people like me, other than as a qualifying postscript to the Covid deaths: ‘But they had an underlying health condition’.
Freedom day doesn’t include me.
The federal government is prepared to lease nuclear submarines from the US while its own fleet is being built, defence minister Peter Dutton has said.
Asked on Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program whether the government would consider leasing nuclear submarines in the interim, Dutton said: “The short answer is yes”.
There is all of that discussion to take place in the next 12 to 18 months.
The talk that you can just buy a nuclear-powered submarine off the shelf, of course, is just not accurate or correct.
AAP reports Dutton said the Chinese are pumping out submarines, frigates and aircraft carriers at a record rate and so the rest of the world has stepped up its own production.
That unfortunately is the dynamic we are operating in at the moment.
However, Australia’s decision has caused a stir in the region, and backlash from the French.
The scrapping of the $90bn diesel submarine deal between Australia and France has prompted the European nation to recall its Australian ambassador. Dutton said he understands why the French are upset, but said the government had to act in Australia’s national interest.
Given the changing circumstances in the Indo-Pacific, not just now but over the coming years, we had to make a decision that was in our national interest, and that’s exactly what we have done.
But he said suggestions that concerns over the French model had not been flagged by the Australian government, “just defy frankly what is on the public record and certainly what was said publicly over a long period of time”.