NSW expands vaccine mandate to include booster shots for frontline workers

State recently recorded record-high cases of COVID-19

NSW expands vaccine mandate to include booster shots for frontline workers

New South Wales will begin mandating booster shots for select frontline workers, according to Premier Domonic Perrottet, as the state battles the spread of the Omicron variant. According to the premier, teachers, nurses, as well as health and disability workers who are mandated to be fully immunised will now be required to get booster shots for further protection.

"There are a number of workers here in New South Wales that we have deemed to be in high-risk settings. In those circumstances, we have mandated vaccinations," Perrottet said in a press conference. "We will be moving to those mandates including a booster shot.”

This means that in order to be classified as a fully vaccinated worker, the select frontline workers should have three shots of COVID-19 jabs, according to Health Minister Brad Hazzard in a statement.

"Boosters provide additional protection not only for you, but for your colleagues, loved ones and community," the minister added.

The measure comes the state reported 38,625 new COVID-19 cases, according to government data, record-high figures as the state battles the spread of the Omicron variant.

Read more: New South Wales unveils 'roadmap to freedom'

Other measures

In addition to expanding the state's vaccine mandate, Perrottet also announced the reinstatement of some curbs and implementation of new measures. Perrottet said that from January 8 to 27, singing and dancing will be prohibited in hospitality venues, entertainment facilities, and other major recreation establishments. Major events scheduled in the coming weeks will also be risk-assessed by authorities, who will decide if it could proceed.

"Public health orders will also be updated next week to include a requirement that people report their positive Rapid Antigen Test results, linking those impacted with health support and advice about how they can manage their symptoms from home," said Perrottet.

He added that the "holiday suspension of non-urgent elective surgery" will also extend until February to "alleviate pressure on the hospital system and staff."

"These adjustments will allow us to continue to live with COVID and manage the pandemic in a measured and considered way," Perrottet said.

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