Coronavirus restrictions could ease in Australia amid jump in vaccinations

Coronavirus restrictions could ease in Australia amid jump in vaccinations
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Coronavirus restrictions could ease in Sydney, Australia, amid a jump in vaccinations this past week. 

The New South Wales government announced Wednesday the state is on track to hit 80 percent of residents fully vaccinated this weekend, which means more restrictions will be lifted, Reuters reported

"If we hit 80 percent, we've always said it will be the Monday following," state Premier Dominic Perrottet told ABC Radio. "We will have this discussion with our team on Thursday and we will make a decision to be announced on Friday."

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This would allow retail stores, gyms and restaurants to serve more people. Masks won’t be required in offices and weddings can have unlimited guests, according to Reuters.

The announcement follows Monday’s easing of restrictions that allowed hairdressers, gyms, cafes and bars to reopen. 

“There’s still restrictions in place," Perrottet said at the time. "It’s not a free for all. It is opening up in a measured way and if everyone can look after each other and respect each other, we can get people back into work, we can get businesses open, while at the same time keeping people safe."

New South Wales had 444 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday. 

Australia has had some of the strictest lockdowns during the pandemic, with data from Johns Hopkins University showing the country has recorded more than 130,000 confirmed virus cases and almost 1,500 deaths.