Australia

Vaccine passport trial announced as NSW reports 1,035 local COVID-19 cases

There are 1,232 COVID-19 patients in hospital in NSW, with 242 in intensive care units and 122 on ventilators.

Eighty-three per cent of the eligible population has had their first dose of the vaccine, while 54.2 per cent are double vaccinated.

The government says it will begin its vaccination passport trial in regional NSW from 6 October. Vaccination status will be linked to the QR code check-in system.

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The government says freedoms will be restored at 70 per cent coverage for the fully vaccinated even if the vaccination passport is not yet fully operational.

Those yet to be fully vaccinated will not have those freedoms restored.

“When we hit 70 per cent double dose, irrespective of when it is, (we’ll be) ready to roll out that vaccine passport,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

NSW reports 1,035 new local COVID-19 cases and five deaths


Meanwhile, a Sydney woman who travelled to Byron Bay to work on the reality TV show ‘I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!’ and then tested positive for COVID-19 is facing criminal charges.

The Byron, Tweed and Kempsey council areas in the state’s north were forced into lockdown on Tuesday.

The fully vaccinated 31-year-old had a permit to travel to the area for work-related purposes only.

But police say she breached the conditions of her permit when she went to pubs and shops in Byron Bay and Kingscliff over the weekend.

Police allege she failed to check in to those venues using QR codes.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday welcomed the news, brushing off criticism from her backbench MP Catherine Cusack that the government should not have allowed the woman into Byron in the first place.

“(This person was) there only to work, but what they did was breach the health orders,” she said. “The system worked. It was people doing the wrong thing and I’m really glad police have charged them.”

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NSW will also from Monday ease all capacity limits on construction sites while retaining the “four square metre” density rule.

The industry has been working at 50 per cent capacity, with vaccination requirements for workers from the 12 western and southwest Sydney local government areas of concern.

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