Tue, 07 Dec 2021

SYDNEY, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Australia's most populous state of New South Wales (NSW) crossed the milestone of 80 percent of its over-16 population being fully vaccinated, with which the state government announced a further easing of restrictions from Monday.

From Monday (Oct. 18), fully vaccinated residents would be allowed to participate in community sports, have 20 visitors to their homes and masks would no longer be required in office spaces.

Furthermore, limits on funerals and weddings have been lifted and indoor dancing and drinking while standing would be allowed at clubs and pubs across the state.

"NSW has led the way in this space and very much it is the people of NSW that is leading a nation out of this pandemic," said NSW premier Dominic Perrottet during Sunday's press conference.

Cases in NSW continued to fall. In the 24 hours to 8:00 p.m. Saturday night, NSW recorded 301 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, and 10 further deaths.

Meanwhile, the surge of cases in the Australian state of Victoria has shown some signs of abating. After its peak of 2,297 new locally acquired cases reported last Thursday, the state recorded 1,838 cases and seven deaths in the 24 hours to midnight Saturday.

Despite the high number of cases, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews brought forward the state's roadmap for the easing of restrictions to midnight Thursday when the state is expected to reach a vaccination rate of 70 percent of the adult population.

"Bring forward the haircut and tell mum you will be round for dinner," said Andrews.

From midnight Thursday, vaccinated residents would be able to travel anywhere in metropolitan Melbourne, homes would be allowed to have up to 10 visitors, and 20 fully vaccinated people would be allowed to attend hospitality venues.

Religious gatherings, weddings and funerals would be allowed to take place with up to 50 people outdoors and 20 people indoors.

Travel to regional Victoria will remain off-limits.

In Victoria, 65.5 percent of the adult population have been fully vaccinated, and 89 percent of the population have received at least their first dose.

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