COVID-19 cases continue to decline in NSW, with 273 new cases and four more deaths on Tuesday.
The number of people in NSW hospitals with COVID-19 has also dropped, with 589 in hospital with the virus, 128 of whom are in intensive care.
Chief health officer Kerry Chant said the drop in hospital cases was welcome.
“But it will not mean they have much of a breather because we also have business as usual,” she said on Tuesday.
“It is the responsibility of all of us to do all that we can – get vaccinated, continue to follow the public health advice and let’s try to make sure that our ICUs have as few as possible people with COVID in them as we open up over this Christmas-New Year period.”
In the 24 hours report to 8pm on Monday, 92.1 per cent of NSW residents 16 and older have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 80.8 per cent of people are fully vaccinated.
Dr Kerry Chant wants to rates to keep climbing.
“Let’s try to aim for 95 per cent. Our colleagues in ACT have gone beyond that so I’d send out the challenge to everyone,” she said on Tuesday.
“Please reach out and help those around you get vaccinated.”
The latest fatalities were three men and one woman aged from their 60s to their 80s. Three were from Sydney, and one from Wollongong.
Their deaths take NSW’s toll from its Delta outbreak to 479.
Concerns also remain for regional areas of the state, where case numbers are climbing.
“We are seeing cases increase in regional areas, cases in Hunter New
England, around Lake Macquarie, Wollongong and other regions, so please be vigilant wherever you are across the state,” Dr Chant said.
NSW began the second stage of its roadmap out of lockdown on Monday after passing the 80 per cent full vaccination rate.
“As mobility increases across the state, case numbers will increase,” Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Monday.
“This is not over. There’s a long journey to go.”
NSW residents can also start planning journeys north of the border after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed her state’s plan to reopen.
Fully vaccinated travellers who test negative will be allowed into Queensland without quarantining by December 17.
That is when the state is expected to pass its 80 per cent vaccination target. But Ms Palaszczuk said the date was “locked in”, indicating it is not reliant on the state hitting that target to allow travellers to skip quarantine.
From Wednesday, fully vaccinated people can apply for a permit for travel from “red zones” in NSW to Victoria without quarantining.
They’ll need to test negative within 72 hours of arrival, and isolate until they receive another negative test result after arriving.
Fully vaccinated travellers from outside of “red zones” can travel to Victoria without testing or isolating.
Both still need a border permit.