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NSW has 8271 COVID cases, 12 deaths

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NSW has 8271 COVID cases and 12 more deaths as more restrictions are set to ease across the state.

There were 121 COVID patients in NSW hospital’s on Thursday, including 59 in intensive care.

NSW Health reports 52.6 per cent of eligible people in the state have received COVID booster shots.

The requirement to wear face masks indoors in NSW will mostly end on Friday. Masks will remain compulsory on public transport, at airports and on planes, as well as in hospitals, aged and disability care facilities.

They will also still be required to enter prisons and for indoor music festivals with more than 1000 people.

Meanwhile, Labor’s Walt Secord said there was a “cabal of anti-vaxxers” among government MPs who had refused to get the jab, even as the government has made it compulsory for frontline workers to be vaccinated.

The government “has one set of rules for the public and workers, and another for its own MPs”, he told parliament on Wednesday.

More than 1100 unvaccinated public health workers had been forced to resign, he said.

“They force unvaccinated workers out of the workplace but they refuse to take action against their own,” Mr Secord said.

“What’s good enough for our health and other government workers should be good enough for this parliament.”

Premier Dominic Perrottet said he wasn’t aware of any unvaccinated Coalition MPs but expected members of parliament to be vaccinated.

“I’m not going to go door-knocking people in parliament and ask them for their medical records,” he  said on Thursday.

“We haven’t mandated vaccination across the board but ultimately we strongly encourage people to get vaccinated and get boosted.”

On Monday, a swathe of COVID-19 restrictions will ease in NSW schools, with high school students and staff no longer required to wear masks.

Parents will be allowed back on school campuses, year groups will be able to mix freely and assemblies and school camps are back.

Staff and students will no longer be required to undertake twice-weekly rapid antigen tests, unless they have symptoms.

Teachers and staff at primary schools and childcare centres will no longer have to mask up from March 7.

NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos said it was a mistake to lift so many restrictions all at once while Omicron was still rife in the community.

Two schools in NSW had been forced to close this week because of COVID outbreaks.

“A steady approach, a graduated approach would have been preferable in order to ensure that we monitor slowly how we might be getting out of this,” he said.

“We don’t want all the hard work that’s been done to be wasted.

“We’ve been here before in early December when all the restrictions were lifted and we all know what happened.”

We’ve Already Come Too Far To End This Now.

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