NSW to learn fate of regional travel

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Sydneysiders are set to learn on Friday whether they will be able to pack their bags and head off to the regions as early as next week.

With 77.8 per cent of NSW residents aged over 16 fully vaccinated, the state is likely to reach the 80 per cent threshold by the weekend.

That will trigger the next phase of reopening on Monday, just one week after the lockdown was eased.

But the senior government members charged with leading the state’s COVID-19 response have reportedly decided to postpone regional travel, which is currently part of the roadmap for 80 per cent.

There’s concern that opening up to travellers from Sydney would put communities with lower vaccination rates at risk.

Premier Dominic Perrottet met with his COVID-19 and economic recovery committee to discuss the matter on Thursday.

He is expected to provide an update on Friday morning.

Late on Thursday NSW Health said that from Friday restrictions for people entering NSW from the ACT will be eased and people will no longer need to complete a declaration form on entry into NSW or follow stay-at-home rules on arrival.

It also said Queensland residents will also no longer have to complete a declaration form on arrival due to low rates of community transmission in that state.

Some 91.4 per cent of eligible NSW residents have had at least one COVID-19 jab.

Of 12- to 15-year-olds, 72.11 per cent had received at least one vaccination by Wednesday, with 26.01 per cent fully immunised.

It’s the highest full vaccination rate for that age group in the nation.

The state reported 406 new COVID-19 on Thursday, down from 444 the previous day.

Six more people died, taking the total for the outbreak to 454.

Mr Perrottet on Thursday announced further stimulus measures to boost the economy after the state recorded tens of thousands more job losses.

NSW adults will be able to use two extra $25 Dine and Discover vouchers at restaurants, cafes and entertainment venues by next June.

Alfresco dining and drinking will be encouraged with a loosening of restrictions and a grant program for venues and councils to expand outdoors.

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