“The risk of transmission in the community is now low enough to facilitate the easing of restrictions for aged care, just as the NSW Government has eased restrictions across many other areas,” NSW Health’s Director of Aged Care, Stefanie Williams, said in a statement, thanking residents and families for their patience and understanding.

The changes will mean people will no longer need to have received an influenza vaccine to visit an aged-care facility. This requirement will remain in place for staff.

It will also open aged-care facilities up to performances for the first time since March, allowing choirs and community groups to visit for carol singing.

On Monday, the Public Health Order placing restrictions on travellers from South Australia also ceased to be in force.

There were 6173 tests reported in NSW during the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, compared with 9133 in the previous 24 hours. In a statement, NSW Health expressed concern about testing numbers.

“With restrictions eased, borders having reopened and Christmas less than two weeks away, it is important that we remain vigilant,” it said.

“Please come forward for testing immediately even if you have only mild symptoms such as a runny nose or sore throat. Don’t wait to see if it goes away.”

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One coronavirus patient was moved into ICU during the reporting period.

An additional 69 cases are being treated by NSW Health, the vast majority in non-acute, out-of-hospital care, including special health accommodation (hotel quarantine for returned travellers with the virus).

It has now been 10 days since NSW recorded a local coronavirus case, in a woman who worked at a quarantine hotel and acquired her infection from a returned traveller.

It has been 36 days since a person in the state has caught the virus from a local source.

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