Video Extras

Unvaccinated Australians Warned Over COVID-19 As Restrictions Begin To Ease

Unvaccinated Australians have been warned they will be exposed to COVID-19 in coming months as more restrictions ease.

The nation will on Tuesday pass 85 per cent single-dose coverage of people aged 16 and above with the 70 per cent two-jab milestone set to be reached later in the week.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has made a fresh appeal to about three million Australians yet to roll up their sleeves.

"At some stage, everybody will be exposed to the disease," he told 2CC radio.

"We have to prepare and say nobody's immune. Everybody is ultimately at risk and you protect yourself and your family."

Mr Hunt said the 47,000 people aged between 16 and 65 who contracted the disease provided a strong case study about the power of vaccines.

"Of those, only four per cent have been fully vaccinated," he said.

"Of those sadly that went on to pass away, only one per cent were fully vaccinated."

Travel restrictions are beginning to lift, with trips between Canberra and Sydney allowed from November 1.

Quarantine-free international travel into NSW will start on the same day, while Australians will be allowed to leave the country without special permission.

Queensland is aiming to keep interstate borders open permanently when it hits 80 per cent double-dose vaccination coverage, expected before Christmas.

Epidemiologist Tony Blakely expects the state to be able to cope with rising cases when borders open provided there is no outbreak before mid-December.

"They'll go into Christmas with low numbers and Christmas will be a superspreader event," he told the Seven Network.

'But if you're going from, say 40 or 50 cases a day up to 200 a day, that's not too bad.

"Unlike us in Victoria, New South Wales and ACT, we've already got the virus, so Christmas may well be a superspreader event that goes beyond what the health services can cope with."

Victoria recorded 1749 new local cases and 11 deaths with epidemiologist Nancy Baxter urging people to be cautious when lockdown lifts on Friday.

"There's a lot of COVID out there," she told the ABC.

"Using your head when you're starting to enjoy your new freedoms is important to keep the rise in cases, which will happen, to a reasonable number."

Infections and hospitalisations continue to decline in NSW but the government has warned cases will rise.

There were 273 new local infections and four deaths on Tuesday.