The NSW construction industry will return to full capacity from next week as the state's vaccination coverage continues to grow, with hope community sport will soon follow.
From next Monday, NSW will 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.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard also announced on Tuesday – the second day of school holidays – that kids in lockdown areas will be able to create a “friends bubble” of three, allowing them to visit each other's homes.
The NSW crisis cabinet agreed on Monday night to offer relief to families and kids after months of lockdown and home schooling.
Children don't have to be vaccinated but all adults living with the children must be fully vaccinated and families must live within five kilometres of each other or in the same local government area.
“We've got to recognise the need for mental health and socialisation and the things young people do as part of growing up, but keep them safe,” Mr Hazzard said.
Outdoor gatherings of up to five fully vaccinated adults with their children have been permitted for the past week, and Mr Hazzard hinted community sport could soon resume as well.
One in 10 community sports clubs in Australia fear they will not survive beyond the pandemic, new research from the Australian Sports Foundation found, with lockdown and restrictions decimating the financial bottom line and volunteer numbers.
Mr Hazzard told reporters he is “very keen” to see community sport resume, with the transmission risk managed through COVID-safe plans, and was organising discussions between the sports minister and senior health officials.
“We're going to facilitate that in the next few days and see what we can do to try and persuade the public health department,” he said.
“I would think we get there very soon.”
NSW reported 1022 new local cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, as another three regional areas were sent back into lockdown.
The Tweed, Byron and Kempsey council areas went into lockdown from Tuesday for seven days, after a coronavirus-infected essential worker flew from Sydney to Ballina on Saturday and was active in the community.
Ten deaths were also reported, taking the toll for the outbreak to 255.Internet Explorer Channel Network