NSW COVID restrictions eased for vaccinated; household gathering, hospitality caps increased

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Modellers have suggested NSW will hit 95 per cent double-dose coverage of the population in the first half of December, although it is difficult to predict vaccine uptake as the rollout becomes less about access and more about tackling hesitancy.

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Figures released on Monday showed just 13 council areas in NSW had a full vaccination rate below 80 per cent. Of these, only two – the City of Sydney, where demographers have flagged rates may be skewed by a decline in population, and Edward River, in the state’s south, have a first-dose rate below 80 per cent.

NSW reported 173 new local coronavirus cases on Tuesday from nearly 59,000 tests.

Testing figures are usually lower on Mondays and Tuesdays as they reflect swabs taken over the weekend.

Four additional deaths from the virus were reported. NSW Health will release more details about the deaths later on Tuesday morning.

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The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 has continued to decline. There were 333 virus patients in NSW hospitals on Tuesday, 72 of whom are in intensive care.

Eleven state schools in NSW were shut on Tuesday due to COVID-19 exposures. Seven of the schools were located in the Hunter region and four were in western Sydney.

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