Lockdown rules slightly eased in Australia's NSW

Sydney, Sep 17 (IANS): The Covid-19 lockdown rules were slightly eased on Friday in Australia's New South Wales (NSW), the current epicentre of the pandemic, as the state capital Sydney entered the 12th week of restrictions.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian outlined some new initiatives in the state's battle against the virus, reports Xinhua news agency.

Among the new measures was a home quarantine trial to enable 175 fully vaccinated returned travellers to be quarantined at home rather than staying in a hotel.

The trial is expected to begin in the next few weeks as NSW moves towards opening its borders for international travel.

Berejiklian said the border opening would be considered once 80 per cent of eligible people in NSW are fully vaccinated.

"That's Aussies returning home through Sydney airport but also our citizens having the opportunity to go overseas when previously they weren't able to," she said.

The decision came as the state recorded 1,284 new locally acquired cases and 12 more deaths on Friday, which have generally been lower than the numbers earlier this month.

The vaccination rollout is also progressing strongly with over 80 per cent of people aged above 16 having had the first of their two doses.

About 50 per cent of the adult population are now fully vaccinated.

In the meantime, the government has begun to slightly ease off on some of its more onerous clampdowns.

The authorities have announced the lift of the night curfew on 12 local government areas in Sydney's west and southwest that suffered the most intense outbreaks.



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