Coronavirus cases in New South Wales has remained below 300 despite an increase in cases in Sydney.
NSW reported 250 local COVID-19 cases within 24 hours to 8pm Friday, 36 fewer than the day before.
No new coronavirus deaths have been reported in NSW in the previous 24 hours, for the first time in almost three months.
The last time NSW registered zero deaths was on 24 August.
The milestone comes as vaccination rates across the state continue to rise, keeping hospital admissions low.
There are currently 228 people being treated for the virus in the hospital, 32 of whom are in intensive care.
High vaccination rates also mean from Monday that NSW Health will no longer list cases where a COVID-19 positive person has participated.
About 90.8 percent of people over 16 are fully vaccinated, and 94.1 percent of adults have had their first jab.
In the age group 12-15 years, more than 80 percent have received their first dose, and 72.4 percent both.
After weeks of decline, COVID cases in Sydney are on the rise, with the western and southern suburbs emerging as the main drivers of the daily count.
In recent weeks, the majority of new cases have been registered in state regions.
It has now moved to Sydney, four weeks after the restrictions were eased.
“When you have more movement in the population … we are always likely to see an increase in the number of cases,” said Dr. Michael Bonning from the Australian Medical Association to 7NEWS.
Meanwhile, the state is ready to return international students next month.
Vaccinated students entering NSW should not be quarantined, the government announced Friday.
The first chartered aircraft will land in Sydney on December 6 with about 250 students from countries including Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, China and Canada.
Another flight with students from South Asia is also planned.
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet says this is a “significant milestone”.
“Not only are they making a significant contribution to our economy, but international students are playing a role in our culture and contributing to our society and lifestyle,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.
The announcement reflects a broadcast by Perrottet in May, which was thwarted by the Delta eruption, which started the following month.
NSW Vice-Chancellors’ Committee convenor Barney Glover welcomed the announcement and said there would hopefully be 500 fully vaccinated students returning to NSW and ACT universities by the end of the year.
“We have missed the many contributions international students make to our community,” Professor Glover said.
Student housing Scape Redfern continues as a housing partner for returning international students.
– with AAP