New South Wales has recorded 496 of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases until 8:00pm last night.
Eight deaths have also been recorded during this period.
A swathe of restrictions have been eased for fully vaccinated people in the state’s lockdown areas today, including Greater Sydney.
There are now 769 people in hospital with the virus and from those 153 in the intensive care unit, while more than 50 remain ventilated.
A total of 90.3 per cent of people aged 16 and over in NSW have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 73 per cent are fully inoculated.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet today said cases were expected to rise as the state opens up.
“We’re certainly expecting to see an increase in case numbers [but] if you look back at the model that we released earlier, we’re actually much below where we thought that we would be,” he said.
“There will be naturally a lag [in cases, but] our health system is ready. The alternative is to stay closed.
“We’ve said to our people that if we can get the vaccination rate up, that’s the best way to protect you and your loved ones from COVID.”
Across Sydney, businesses from gyms to hairdressers have celebrated the easing of restrictions.
Tribe Leichhardt Gym owner Karlah Van Arend said it was a great atmosphere this morning.
“Amazing … I’m still buzzing from this morning,” she said.
“All of our classes were packed out, fully booked. I think everyone was just raring to get back into the gym.”
Mr Perrottet was among a cohort of people getting haircuts this morning, and lines could be seen outside several salons this morning.
Hairdressser Joh Bailey said the Double Bay salon was now fully booked, after a difficult 107 days.
“I feel sorry for smaller businesses than ours — the hard-working Australians who have small businesses,” he said.
“We are in a lucky position that we managed to get through it.
“Our staff have been incredible and very supportive.
“They’re all double-vaxxed, we’re all here and we’re ready to cut your hair.”
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