NSW records 261 new Covid cases and no new deaths on Friday

NSW has recorded another 261 new cases of Covid-19 overnight and no new deaths as authorities urge Australians to get their booster shot.

NSW has recorded 261 new cases of Covid-19 and no new deaths from 73,027 tests in the past 24 hours.

Figures also show there are 191 people in hospital with 31 in intensive care.

Across the state, 94.5 per cent of the population aged over 16 have received their first dose of the vaccine, while 92.2 per cent are double vaccinated.

For those between the ages of 12 and 15, 81.1 per cent have had one dose, while 76 per cent are fully vaccinated.

NSW restrictions are set to ease on December 15, with all density limits being scrapped, QR-code check-in requirements lessened and vaccinated hospitality staff will no longer need to wear masks.

A major change in the reopening will be students who are identified as “close contacts” not needing to isolate.

Masks will still be required on public transport, planes and at airports, and venues will be able to scrap the 2sq m rule.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has begun urging Australians to get the booster vaccine to prevent lockdowns in 2022, with more than 151 million Pfizer and AstraZeneca shots ordered for the third dose.

As Australia continues to open up, the bleak reality of waning Covid-19 immunity is on full display in Europe, where case numbers are rising, hospitals face being overwhelmed and countries are returning to lockdowns.

Mr Morrison is expected to send a letter to Australians urging those who had their second vaccine six months ago to book in for a booster.

“Australia now has one of the lowest number of cases per head of population in the world, and our health response has saved over 30,000 lives,” the letter, co-signed by Health Minister Greg Hunt and chief medical officer Paul Kelly, says.

“Thanks to the high vaccination rates, we are now reopening, our economy is strongly re-emerging, and people can get back to seeing family, travelling and living a more normal life.

“An important part of this process is ensuring that every person in Australia has access to vaccine boosters to help maintain the best possible defence against serious illness or death.”

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