NSW kids can socialise in bubble of three

Children under 18 in NSW will be able to catch-up with each other in groups of three, in a concession to families during the school holidays.

© Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS Children in NSW will be able to play with two other friends in a ‘bubble’, to bring lockdown relief.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro says crisis cabinet agreed on Monday night to offer relief to families after much of the state has endured months of lockdown and home schooling.

“We’re in school holidays. Kids have done it really, really tough, parents have done it tough,” he told the Nine Network on Tuesday.

“The mental strain, the wellbeing of our kids is important.

“So the crisis committee made a decision that we’ll allow those kids to come together, just like we have the adult single bubbles,” he said.

Children don’t have to be vaccinated but they must stay in the same trio of friends.

Meanwhile, the NSW-Queensland border bubble is under threat with the revelation a person with COVID-19 was infectious in several northern NSW communities for two days.

The Northern NSW Local Health District on Monday night confirmed a person had tested positive to the virus on Monday.

Mr Barilaro says the Tweed and Byron areas may need to be locked down, with an announcement due at the Tuesday press conference.

The infected person flew from Sydney to Ballina on Virgin Flight VA 1141 on Saturday and was infectious in the Byron, Ballina and Tweed areas until their positive test result on Monday.

On Monday the western NSW town of Cowra was forced back into lockdown, when a nine-year-old school boy tested positive to the virus.

It follows the Albury, Lismore, Glen Innes and Hilltops local government areas.

With several areas included in the border bubble with Queensland now visited by infectious COVID-19 cases, there are fears the travel conditions could revert back to their strictest conditions.

Students and essential workers from the LGAs have been able to travel into Queensland from September 13, in an arrangement negotiated after weeks of sparring between the Queensland and NSW governments.

It comes as NSW reported fewer than 1000 new infections for the first time in almost a month.

“We predicted we would peak at this time, and let’s see what the next few days and what Saturday looks like … where the big numbers normally come in,” Mr Barilaro said.

It looks like the state will reach the 70 per cent double vaccination milestone that will allow more freedoms, in the first week of October, he said.

“Definitely in the first or second week of October we’ll get the state open,” he said.

Some 935 new local COVID-19 cases were recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday and four deaths – two people in their 60s and two in their 80s – taking the toll for the current NSW outbreak to 245.

It was the lowest number of daily infections since August 27, but Premier Gladys Berejiklian pleaded with NSW residents to remain on high alert.

“Even if case numbers go down, we should expect unfortunately the number of people in intensive care and the number of people who lose their lives to go up,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Monday.

“I don’t want any of us to sit back and think the worst is behind us. Because, unfortunately, too many families are going to have loved ones end up in hospital, or worse.”

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