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Easy does it: NSW regional travel delayed until November 1st

Sydneysiders will not be allowed to travel to the regions until November 1 because of the risk to those communities where COVID-19 vaccination rates lag behind the cities.

Sydneysiders will not be allowed to travel to the regions until November 1 because of the risk to those communities where COVID-19 vaccination rates lag behind the cities.

NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole confirmed the much-anticipated decision to delay travel to the regions until November 1 had been taken by the government’s COVID and Economic Recovery Committee on Thursday night.

He says delaying regional travel is necessary to protect the regions from a virus outbreak because only 36 per cent of regional local government areas have populations where 80 per cent are double vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I know it’s frustrating. It’s not an easy decision,” the Nationals leader told Sydney radio station 2GB on Friday.

“But we have a responsibility to make sure that we keep our regional communities safe.

“It’s important that we don’t actually open up businesses and then … case numbers escalate putting those communities and those businesses in jeopardy.” 

The coalition government had promised unlimited travel across the state for the fully vaccinated from the Monday after NSW reached its 80 per cent double vaccination milestone.

While it is absolutely a sensible decision for regional areas that have had limited access to vaccines to date and have fallen behind, the news will be yet another frustrating blow for tourism operators who had already taken bookings for next week.

With 77.8 per cent of NSW residents over 16 now fully vaccinated, the state is likely to reach the 80 per cent threshold on the weekend.

Premier Dominic Perrottet is set to provide an update on what new freedoms will be allowed next week.

Service_NSW
Image: Service NSW

Meanwhile, people in NSW are now able to integrate the COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate into their Service NSW app, making life easier for businesses and customers.

Digital and Customer Service Victor Dominello says the integration of the vaccine certificate with the app is the easiest and quickest way to prove you’re fully vaccinated.

“When someone visits a venue, they’ll be able to show their green check-in tick and vaccination status simultaneously, saving staff and customers time,” he said.

Meanwhile, restrictions for people entering NSW from the ACT are being eased and people will no longer need to complete a declaration form upon entry to NSW or follow stay-at-home rules on arrival.

Queensland residents will also no longer have to complete a declaration form on arrival due to low rates of community transmission in that state.

Some 91.4 per cent of eligible NSW residents have now had at least one COVID-19 jab.

Of 12- to 15-year-olds, 72.11 per cent had received at least one dose by Wednesday, and 26.01 per cent are fully immunised.

Via AAP