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NSW Covid cases skyrocket as restrictions ease

NSW coronavirus cases have skyrocketed as restrictions across the state ease.

The state's health department said on Wednesday there have been 1360 new cases of coronavirus and one more death.

It's the largest number of daily cases since September 11.

There are currently 166 people in hospital and 24 in the ICU — a rate that has not increased in the past 24 hours. The surge comes after another spike in infections on Tuesday with 804 cases reported.

Victoria has recorded 1,405 Covid cases, making Wednesday Australia’s worst day for cases since the pandemic began.

Members of the public wear face masks as they go about their daily lives in Liverpool, Sydney.
Cases have soared in NSW as restrictions across the state ease. Source: AAP

Wednesday also marks the scrapping of many rules across NSW despite super-spreading events causing a sharp rise in Covid case numbers.

QR code check-ins will be scaled back and masks are only required in high-risk settings like public transport and planes.

There is no cap on visitors in homes, hospitality venues, or outdoor gatherings.

For the first time in three months, the unvaccinated are also free to enjoy many of the same freedoms as fully vaccinated people.

NSW reveals change to Covid travel restrictions

Meanwhile, NSW Health says fully vaccinated arrivals from eight southern African countries of concern where the Omicron variant of Covid-19 emerged will no longer have to enter hotel quarantine for 14 days, bringing all international arrivals under the same measures.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said all fully vaccinated international arrivals must self-isolate for 72 hours, have a negative result within the first 24 hours of arrival and avoid high-risk settings for a week.

The latest easing of restrictions — long-planned for December 15 — comes just as case numbers spike to a two-month high.

Superspreader events are driving the spike, among them an outbreak at the Argyle House nightclub in Newcastle on the night of December 8, with more than 200 out of 680 revellers since testing positive.

Of the new infections, 21 were the Omicron variant taking the total cases of the new strain to 85.

With AAP

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