NSW reports record 45,098 cases as the state wakes up to new restrictions

New South Wales has reported another record of COVID-19 cases on Saturday, one day after Premier Dominic Perrottet reintroduced restrictions.

The state saw 45,098 new cases recorded on Saturday, the same day the new rules come into place. Nine people lost their lives with another 1795 in hospital and 145 in ICU. NSW Health acknowledged case numbers are likely an underestimate.

The state conducted 116,915 tests in the last 24 hours.

In the 24-hour reporting period to 8pm Friday night, 95.1 per cent of people aged 16+ are double vaccinated, with 93.7 per cent of the same demographic having received their first jab.

For people aged 12 – 15, 81.5 per cent are double vaccinated and 78.1 are single vaccinated. Vaccinations for children aged five to 11 begins on Monday.

Recent NSW Health modelling reveals the record total comes weeks from the peak of the current Omicron outbreak, expected in mid-to-late January.

Dr Kerry Chant on Friday said current figures were an underestimate, given the high spread in the community, difficulty accessing rapid antigen tests and the expected number of asymptomatic cases.

As such, case totals in coming days are likely to only capture part of the story.

Symptomatic people or close contacts who test positive to rapid antigen tests from Saturday have been instructed to treat themselves as a case.

But a mechanism to report such cases through Service NSW is still being developed.

Victoria on Friday launched a web form to report positive RATs.

The new restrictions include no dancing and singing inside some hospitality venues until January 27 and the postponement of non-urgent elective surgeries until February.

The new restrictions do not apply to weddings, performers and classes, in a bid to help the creative industry survive the pandemic.

Some high-risk major events may be contacted by health authorities and forced to implement restrictions to be deemed COVID-safe.

Those who receive a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) are asked to register their results via Service NSW and NSW Health.

Major food outlets such as Woolworths and Coles have reported widespread food shortages as supply chain disruptions see fewer food deliveries to stores across the nation.

People have also stopped spending thanks to the latest outbreak, plunging spending rates to lockdown levels.

On Friday, the Premier defended the decision to ease restrictions over the December holiday period after the state reported 38,625 new cases.

On the same day, the Tamworth Country Musical Festival organisers announced the event, due to start in a week, would be postponed as a result.

The government on Friday announced non-urgent elective surgery will be suspended until mid-February, releasing new modelling that predicts the impact of the Omicron variant on the health system.