Covid-19 Australia: NSW is rocked by a pandemic -record 15 deaths and 863 new cases


Gladys Berejiklian has warned anti-vaxxers they will be fined $1,000 if they try to enjoy the October 11 freedoms for the double-jabbed – as NSW recorded 863 Covid-19 cases and a state pandemic-record 15 deaths from the virus overnight.

Nine of the state’s residents to die overnight were not vaccinated, while five had received only one vaccine dose.  

The premier said 86.2 per cent of the state’s population had now received their first vaccination dose, while 61.7 per cent are fully vaccinated. 

Ms Berejiklian said she was confident NSW would reach the 90 per cent single-dose figure by next week. 

The state is less than two weeks away from the easing of lockdown measures for the fully-vaccinated, but the state leader warned those who haven’t had both jabs they face $1,000 fines if they are caught trying to enjoy the same freedoms.

Workers are pictured wearing personal protective equipment at the Manly Waves Studios and Apartments in Sydney on Wednesday. NSW has recorded 863 new cases of Covid-19 and a state pandemic-record 15 deaths

Double-jabbed residents can from October 11 go to pubs and restaurants and retail stores – while the unvaccinated will have to wait until December 1.

‘Let there be no mistaking that we expect everybody to do the right thing,’ Ms Berejiklian said.

‘There are fines of $1000 every time you do the wrong thing. Businesses, there are fines from $5000 all the way up to $11,000 and closure for a period of time if businesses flagrantly disregard the Covid safety plans.’

The premier meanwhile on Wednesday fully-vaccinated residents would be allowed to visit aged care facilities from October 11 – when NSW’s harsh lockdown is set to end.

‘I am looking forward to seeing my parents in that week,’ she said.

‘For those of you who haven’t been able to see a loved one for around three months, Monday, the 11th, so long as you are fully vaccinated, two at a time and two per day are able to visit a loved one in an aged care facility.’ 

Ms Berejiklian said there had been a reduction in cases across west and south-west Sydney – which for months have been the epicentre of NSW’s Delta outbreak.

However she said there had also been a worrying rise in infections in the Illawarra-Shellharbour region south of the city. 

Of the 863 new locally-acquired cases, 94 were found in that part of NSW – compared to 187 in western Sydney and 227 in south-west Sydney. 

Pedestrians walk in front of a mural showing rail workers at Central Station in Sydney, on Tuesday. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said 86.2 per cent of the state's population had now received their first vaccination dose

Pedestrians walk in front of a mural showing rail workers at Central Station in Sydney, on Tuesday. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said 86.2 per cent of the state’s population had now received their first vaccination dose

The announcement came amid fears Byron Shire could be sent back into lockdown only hours after it was released, after two new cases who were infectious in the community were identified.

The Tweed, Byron and Kempsey areas were freed from lockdown overnight, while stay-at-home orders were reintroduced in Port Macquarie and Muswellbrook for at least one week.

But the freedom of residents in the Byron Shire is likely to be short lived, with one case diagnosed in the Kyogle area and a second case in Byron Bay, local MP Tamara Smith confirmed.

The Byron, Tweed and Kempsey shires were released from lockdown overnight, with Byron reintroduced into the Queensland border bubble (pictured, freedom rally in Byron on September 18)

The Byron, Tweed and Kempsey shires were released from lockdown overnight, with Byron reintroduced into the Queensland border bubble (pictured, freedom rally in Byron on September 18)

‘Initial investigations indicate that both people had been infectious in the community, with contact tracing and investigations currently under way,’ she said on Wednesday.

The Tweed and Byron areas were re-included in the Queensland border bubble when restrictions lifted overnight, but the cases will likely see the Byron area excluded again.

It comes as the deadline for health workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 with at least once dose looms.

Some 94 per cent of the NSW Health workforce is vaccinated, but staff have until Thursday, at which point they will be unable to work.

But two new cases have emerged in Byron Bay and the Kyogle area, risking the area to be thrust back into lockdown (pictured, Byron Bay)

But two new cases have emerged in Byron Bay and the Kyogle area, risking the area to be thrust back into lockdown (pictured, Byron Bay)

Unvaccinated people in the broader NSW community are also being warned they’ll likely be missing out on certain freedoms and activities beyond December.

NSW will emerge from lockdown in a fortnight after almost four months of stay-at-home orders for large parts of the state.

In December, public health orders will no longer prevent unvaccinated patrons from intermingling, but Health Minister Brad Hazzard said business owners could still deny them entry.

And those who refused the jab were likely to remain barred from most hospitality and entertainment venues as well as air travel, he said.

The NSW government has also warned that unvaccinated members of society will be missing out on certain freedoms and activities after December (pictured, freedom rally in Byron Bay on September 18)

The NSW government has also warned that unvaccinated members of society will be missing out on certain freedoms and activities after December (pictured, freedom rally in Byron Bay on September 18) 

Socially-distanced reintroductions to hospitality venues and hairdressers will begin from October 11, at 70 per cent full vaccination coverage.

About two weeks later, the state is expected to reach 80 per cent coverage, triggering additional freedoms and the resumption of regional travel.

These freedoms will only be restored for the fully vaccinated.

Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says officers won’t routinely stop people and ask to see their vaccination passports, but will be available to help business owners who refuse service to anyone.

NSW will emerge from lockdown in a fortnight after almost four months of stay-at-home orders for large parts of the state (pictured, a man is arrested at the freedom rally in Byron Bay)

NSW will emerge from lockdown in a fortnight after almost four months of stay-at-home orders for large parts of the state (pictured, a man is arrested at the freedom rally in Byron Bay)

NSW on Tuesday reported 863 new local coronavirus cases – dipping below Victoria’s 867 daily infections – and seven deaths.

Of the seven people who died, one person was in their 40s, one in their 50s, two in their 70s, two in their 80s and one in their 90s.

It takes the toll for the current outbreak to 316.

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