NSW picnic rules extended, pools to open
Recreation rules will be relaxed in Sydney's hardest hit suburbs as vaccination rates continue to climb.
NSW reported 1083 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and 13 more deaths on Sunday.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian thanked people 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 on Sunday.
"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.
Kids under the age of 12 are not included in those numbers.
Authorised worker conditions and travel permit requirements will remain in place in the LGAs of concern.
The premier said the situation remains "precarious" and case numbers will increase when the state reopens on reaching the 70 per cent double vaccination target.
"We are anticipating our worst weeks in ICU and hospitals will be in October," she said.
Public pools can reopen in NSW from Monday, September 27.
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.
When asked whether the state had reached or surpassed its peak in case numbers, NSW Health's Dr Jeremy McAnulty said he did not want to "jump the gun" as cases were rising in some regions.
"Cases overall have been going up, they have stabilised and appear to be dropping in some areas where we have had rapidly increasing vaccination uptake as well as good compliance," he said.
By Friday night, 81.9 per cent of the state's over-16 population had received a first dose of vaccine, while 51.9 per cent were fully vaccinated.
On Saturday, 1700 police officers were deployed across the state to quash planned demonstrations against stay-at-home orders. They arrested 32 people and issued 265 infringement notices.
"I'm pleased to see that common sense has prevailed and the vast majority of people have complied with the existing public health orders," Police Minister David Elliott said.
Meanwhile, the union representing prison officers says mandating COVID-19 inoculations for jail staff is "a job half done" and inmates need the jab too.
"To keep NSW jails safe from COVID-19 everyone in the justice system needs to be vaccinated, no excuses," the Public Service Association's Stewart Little said.
All prison officers are required to be double vaccinated by January.
The hair and beauty industry has called on a rethink to an incoming five-client cap when salons reopen.
Australian Hair Council Chief Executive Sandy Chong said the measure would not impact transmission in any "meaningful" way.
"These restrictions are also completely inconsistent with other industries such as fitness and hospitality, which bear similar, if not greater risks of transmission, and will be able to operate without such a restrictive cap," she said.
© AAP 2021