Masks come off across the east

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

First dance floors returned and now the masks are off for many in the eastern states this weekend. 

As the Omicron wave subsides, several jurisdictions announced an easing to indoor mask mandates as of Friday. 

In NSW, Victoria and the ACT mask wearing is still required in high risk settings such as public transport, aged care facilities, airports and hospitals.

There are exceptions for some school students in Victoria and the ACT, who will still have to keep their masks on for now. 

Queensland is set to ease its mask rules and density limits next week. 

Mask mandates remain in WA, Tasmania, SA and the NT. 

The eased restrictions come as a new vaccine is approved for use in Australia, specifically for people who haven’t been able to have a dose of the existing vaccines.

Evusheld has been granted approval for immunocompromised people who aren’t likely to have an adequate immune response to a COVID-19 vaccine. 

It can also be used for people who currently can’t get a COVID-19 vaccine due to a history of severe reactions to immunisation.

People aged 12 and over and who weigh more than 40 kilograms can access the vaccine.  

Another 28 COVID-19 deaths were reported across Australia on Friday. 

Of those there were 11 in Victoria, seven in Queensland, six in NSW, two in SA, one in Tasmania and one in the NT.

In WA there were 1043 new cases, the highest one-day total in the state since the start of the pandemic. 

The state’s hard border is set to come down on March 3, after months of being isolated from the rest of the country.

There were 7583 new cases in NSW, 6580 in Victoria, 5440 in Queensland, 1714 in SA, 851 in Tasmania, 755 in the NT and 773 in the ACT on Friday. 


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