SYDNEY (Reuters) – The two Australian states will lower restrictions on indoor dancing from Friday and ease other curbs after a few weeks without the COVID-19 case.
In New South Wales (NSW), 30 people will be able to dance at weddings, and as many as 30 people will be able to sing together indoors, while currently five are not. Households will also be able to host 50 guests, more than 30.
The move came after the state, which makes up a third of Australia’s population of 25 million, recorded no locally infected infections on Wednesday 38th in a row and as the country entered its third day of a national vaccination program.
“With the introduction of the vaccine currently underway and without new locally acquired cases in NSW, we are able to introduce further changes towards the new COVID,” State Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.
Restrictions have been eased in South Australia since Friday. Dancing will now be allowed in smaller spaces with a capacity of less than 200 people, while in larger spaces 50 can dance at once in a certain space. The state will also drop a request to test visitors from Melbourne, which was previously the focus of COVID-19.
Although there have been cases among citizens returning from abroad, Australia has mostly contained virus transmission in the community with rapid contact finding, mandatory wearing of masks on public transport, and emergency locks.
It has recorded just under 29,000 COVID-19 cases and 909 deaths since the onset of the pandemic.
A nationwide vaccination drive recorded some incorrect doses after two elderly people inadvertently received four times the recommended dose of Pfizer Inc COVID-19.
“Both patients are being monitored and both show no signs of side effects at all, but this is a reminder of the importance of protective measures,” Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters in Canberra.
(Report: Renju Jose; editing: Edwina Gibbs)