NSW COVID cases today drop to a low not seen since JULY as the state prepares to ease travel restrictions from Sydney

New South Wales has recorded another drop in new COVID-19 cases as the state prepares to open up travel between metropolitan Sydney and beyond.On Sunday, the Department of Health confirmed there had been 177 cases in the 24 hours until midnight.There was also one COVID-related death.The number of people hospitalised with COVID-19 in the state remains stable at 340.Of those 78 are in intensive care.It’s the first time in nearly three months the case numbers have dipped below 200.The last time NSW recorded less than 200 daily COVID-19 cases was on July 30, when it recorded 172 infections.Health officials say more than 75,378 COVID-19 tests were conducted in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday, while 93.5 per cent of NSW residents aged 16 or over have now received at least one vaccine dose and 87.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.NSW COVID updateMeanwhile, thousands of free hospitality training spots will be opened up in a bid to help NSW businesses struggling with increased demand and a smaller workforce.The government will fund about 3000 training places across 29 TAFE courses, including barista training, introduction to cooking and safe food handling courses.Premier Dominic Perrottet said businesses were struggling without the international workforce they depended on before NSW was sent into lockdown.“People from all over the state are lining up to get into pubs and clubs and we want to support those businesses with enthusiastic and skilled staff,” Perrottet said on Sunday.The new spots are on top of free places already funded under the JobTrainer program.Halloween warningNSW parents, meanwhile, are being urged to keep the Halloween tradition COVID safe.“Aim to keep celebrations outside,” is the chief advice offered by NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty.“Provide closed packaging for treats instead of communal lolly bowls and consider ways for distributing treats that are safe, for example, putting them along the front fence or in the front yard.“Keep it local,” he said.NSW’s trick-or-treaters have been urged to stay COVID safe as they mark Halloween. Credit: AAPBy that he means parents and children should confine themselves to their own neighbourhood rather than wandering into ‘treat streets’ beyond.Kids should not share face masks and if they are feeling unwell, they should not take part at all.- with AAP

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