Most Populous Australian State Reaches 80 Percent Fully Vaccinated

By Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia, with a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him at caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au
October 16, 2021 Updated: October 16, 2021

The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has reached the 80 percent COVID-19 vaccination threshold that the government required to further ease restrictions for the fully vaccinated.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to announce it: “80 [percent] in NSW! Been a long wait but we’ve done it.”

“Feels great to break this news. Huge thanks to all the nurses and vaccination hub staff at (NSW Health), the GPs, the pharmacists, and each and every person who rolled up their sleeve to get us here.”

He added: “Restrictions ease further on Monday, so keep up to date with [NSW Health] and [Service NSW]. Summer in NSW is looking good.”

The promise to further ease restrictions on Monday comes one week after fully vaccinated people in NSW exited lockdown.

The residents of NSW have been subjected to some of the harshest and longest health measures and restrictions in Australia as the country has pushed to achieve an 80 percent vaccination target for people aged over 16. That figure triggers what the state government called phase two of its four-phase plan to reopen the country.

Meanwhile, protests against the health measures in NSW has been met with a heavy police response, resulting in some violent clashes, multiple arrests, and civil pushback.

Now that 80 percent vaccination has been achieved, community sport will be back on the table, as will house parties with 20 guests and outdoor gatherings of up to 50 for the vaccinated.

Masks will no longer be mandatory in office buildings. Caps will be lifted on weddings, funerals, and hospital bookings as well.

The confirmation that the state would be able to move to the next phase of reopening next week came after the government announced the next stage of its economic recovery plan.

NSW recorded its lowest daily COVID-19 case numbers in two months, with 319 news cases, which is 80 fewer cases than Friday.

Two more people died of the virus—a woman in her 90s who was unvaccinated, and a man in his 60s who’d received one dose. They take the death toll of the current outbreak to 460.

The number of people in hospital also continues to fall, standing now at 652, which is 25 fewer than reported on Friday. Some 138 of those are in intensive care, seven fewer than the previous day.

NSW Health’s Jeremy McAnulty urged NSW residents to get tested as testing numbers dropped by nearly 20,000 to 66,311.

“High testing numbers are still vital in finding cases so that we can suppress the spread as much as possible to keep the community safe,” he said in a video update.

AAP contributed to this report.

Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia, with a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him at caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au