NSW reports 1043 new cases, 11 deaths, restart trialling return of international students

NSW has reported 1043 new local coronavirus cases and 11 deaths, with the dead ranging from their 40s to their 90s.

There are 1186 people in hospital in NSW with COVID-19, including 232 in intensive care, of which 110 are on ventilators.

The coronavirus has been detected in sewage in places including Lightning Ridge, Jindabyne, Crookwell and South Lismore. None of these places has known active cases.

About 84 per cent of the state’s over-16s have had at least one dose of the coronavirus and 56 per cent are fully vaccinated.

“This augers very well for us moving into the future,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says.

Up to 650 international students will begin returning to NSW by Christmas under a pilot program agreed to by universities and education providers.

International students have been shut out of NSW since Australia closed international borders at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year.

Trials were originally meant to begin from the middle of this year but Sydney’s outbreak in late June scuttled those plans.

The pilot will see returning students quarantine in retro-fitted accommodation in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Redfern.

NSW Health and NSW Police will run the facility and students will have to be fully vaccinated. Education providers will contact students to see if they’re keen to take part.

The number of international students coming in will slowly ramp up in parallel with NSW’s vaccination rates.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet says getting international students back was vital to helping with the state’s economic recovery post-pandemic.

“International education plays an important role in connecting NSW to the world,” Perrottet says.

“As we implement a range of efforts to reboot our economy, rebuilding the sector – which was worth $14.6 billion to NSW in 2019 – is a key part of our efforts.”

Similar trials were already underway in South Australia earlier this year.

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