Rules relax in Sydney COVID hotspots

Those in Sydney’s hardest hit suburbs are set for their first taste of freedom in months, with recreation rules relaxing as vaccination rates continue to climb.

© Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS Those in Sydney’s virus hotspots can enjoy extra freedoms already granted elsewhere in the city.

Reporting 1083 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Sunday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian thanked residents in a dozen LGAs of concern for their resilience before offering them the extra freedoms granted to the rest of the city a week earlier.

“The opportunity for us to ease the restrictions in the areas of concern, or equalise them in line with the rest of Sydney, is due in large part to the high rates of vaccination,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We have seen some of those communities go from rates of around 19 or 20 per cent up to nearly 90 per cent and that is extremely encouraging.”

Fully vaccinated adults in the 12 government areas will from Monday be able to exercise outdoors with no time limits, and gather in groups of five for outdoor recreation within five kilometres from home.

Children under 12 are not included in the gathering limit.

Conditions for authorised workers and travel permit requirements will remain in place in the LGAs of concern, however.

Monday is also the deadline for authorised workers to have been inoculated with at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose to be permitted to leave their LGA for work, unless they have a medical exemption.

Despite the relaxation of some restrictions, Ms Berejiklian warned the state’s situation remains “precarious”, as NSW reported 13 deaths on Sunday – an outbreak record.

“We are anticipating our worst weeks in ICU and hospitals will be in October,” she said.

Of the 13 people who died with COVID-19 in the latest reporting period, one was in their 40s, two in their 50s, two in their 60s, five in their 70s, and three in their 80s.

There are 1238 COVID-19 cases in hospital, with 234 people in intensive care, 123 of whom require ventilation.

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