Restrictions on indoor gatherings, dancing at weddings and choirs in NSW will ease from Friday but the premier is warning people not to let their guard down despite the beginning of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
NSW recorded its 38th straight day of no new local cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, and just one case in hotel quarantine.
More than 3200 people were vaccinated in three NSW hubs in the first two days of the rollout, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Wednesday.
COVID-19 vaccinations began in NSW on Monday, with frontline health workers among the first to receive the jab.
Ms Berejiklian announced indoor gathering limits would rise to 50 people on Friday, up from 30. Caps at weddings will remain at 300 but up to 30 people will be permitted to dance at any one time.
There will be 50 people allowed in gym classes, while indoor choirs can now number 30.
Standing and drinking at an indoor bar will be permitted from St Patrick’s Day if no further COVID-19 outbreaks occur before 17 March.
“It will be some months before any significant amount of the population has access to the vaccine,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters.
“We know we cannot let our guard down.
“Even though we are easing restrictions it’s more important than ever to make sure we check in when we go to venues, keep our social distance, get tested if we have the mildest of symptoms and make sure we follow all the other rules.”
NSW will use the Pfizer vaccine for the next three weeks, but after that most people will be offered the AstraZeneca vaccine.
SA lifts Melbourne virus travel ban
South Australia will drop its remaining COVID-19 border restrictions with Victoria from Friday, allowing travellers from Greater Melbourne to enter the state.
SA’s transition committee met on Wednesday to endorse the change which was put in place in response to an outbreak in coronavirus cases in Victoria in recent weeks.
Premier Steven Marshall says the relaxation comes after Victoria’s great work to get on top of the cluster.
He says some local restrictions will also be eased at the same time, with dancing to be allowed in venues with a capacity of less than 200 patrons.
Venues between 200 and 1000 will also be allowed dancing, but must limit numbers on the dancefloor to 50 at a time.
“A lot of people are going to be quite relieved that dancing is going to be allowed in South Australia,” the premier said.
Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said because there was no evidence of community transmission in Victoria, visitors from Melbourne would not be required to undergo COVID-19 testing.
However, she said people already in SA who came from designated hotspots in Melbourne would be required to complete the 14 days in quarantine and others already in the state would be required to have tests on days one, five and 12.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the easing of border rules with Victoria would help free-up police resources at checkpoints.
“But it’s important to stress we are not COVID free in Australia,” he said.
“We still have people (with the virus) in our quarantine hotels. So we have to have a base level of restrictions.”
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus