Freedoms teased with trial to begin
Two women in their 20s among 12 deaths
1,284 new Covid cases
NSW has recorded 1,284 new cases of coronavirus and 12 deaths as Premier Gladys Berejiklian teases changes to how returning Australians will quarantine.
Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Friday the state has already begun planning the changes to border restrictions, which will be introduced once the state hits 80 per cent fully vaccinated.
On Friday, it reached 50 per cent.
"One of the things that we expect to occur at 80 per cent of all those is to consider our international borders," she said.
"For those returning Australians who have a double dose vaccinations, they will be able to consider having a home quarantine setting rather than having to be in a hotel, similar to the hotel behind us now, it has had thousands of people come through it in the hotel quarantine system."
Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said a trial will begin at the end of September with 125 people who will quarantine at home for seven days. This does not include 50 flight crew who will be subject to the same rules. All will have to be fully vaccinated, with about 30 people a week arriving in Australia over the space of four weeks.
"This is a trial to be able to test and identify ways in which we can change the future of quarantine," Mr Ayres said.
"We know we have a functional and very stable working system around 14 days, but we want to be able to reduce the time people have to stay in quarantine. We are taking the advice of help to reduce that exposure.
"It's something we want to be able to do in the longer term and if we can continue to reduce that even lower we will."
He added those involved in the trial will or have been selected by NSW Health and NSW Police.
The trial will be conducted with Qantas. Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce last week said unvaccinated people would be banned from all international flights and flagged UK, Japan, Singapore, Fiji and North America as places Aussies can travel to by Christmas “if the states keep to the national plan”.
The premier also encouraged people to come forward for vaccinations, again deeming it "the ticket to freedom".
Two women in their 20s among 12 Covid deaths
Sadly, the state recorded 12 more deaths — equal the state's worst daily death total. The state has recorded more than 220 deaths in the Delta outbreak.
Ms Berejiklian said the 12 deaths showed "how deadly and sinister and contagious" the virus is.
NSW Health's Dr Marianne Gale said two of the 12 "tragic" deaths were women in their 20s. Neither were fully vaccinated.
Dr Gale said one of the women was a member of the Life Without Barriers group in Wyong on the NSW Central Coast, which is where she acquired her infection.
Life Without Barriers offers aged care and mental health and disability services. The other woman in her 20s "had underlying health conditions" and died in Western Sydney's Nepean Hospital.
Two NSW regions in lockdown
Lismore and Albury re-entered lockdown for at least the next seven days on Thursday after three cases were detected across the two areas.
The sources of the infections in both regions are unknown but NSW Deputy Chief Health Officer Marianne Gale suspects they are linked to Sydney.
The Lismore case has prompted a shift in the "border bubble" arrangement negotiated days ago by Queensland and NSW, while the effect of Albury's lockdown on Wodonga is not yet clear.
Wodonga is in Victoria, on the south side of the Murray River.
Just hours before Lismore and Albury were plunged back into lockdown, stay-at-home orders were repealed across 12 other regions.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org