Australia’s states and territories are following separate COVID-19 paths as diverging case numbers, outbreaks and vaccination rates have them facing different realities.

NSW will start easing restrictions on Monday despite 11 deaths and 508 new cases recorded in the country’s most populous state on Saturday.

More than 70 per cent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated and more than 90 per cent will have had their first dose by the end of the weekend.

Premier Dominic Perrottet flagged an increase in positive cases would follow the state’s re-opening on Monday and urged people to proceed safely.

“What has been key to keeping people safe is our high vaccination rate. We have the highest vaccination rate in the country and importantly we’re coming close on that first-dose mark to 90 per cent,” he said on Saturday.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet addresses media
Dominic Perrottet says an increase in positive cases will follow NSW’s re-opening on Monday. Credit: AAP

Victoria recorded another record-breaking daily number on Saturday with 1965 new locally acquired cases and another five deaths.

Authorities there are also trying to track down contacts of a flight crew member who tested positive after travelling on six flights between Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.

As the outbreak nears its peak, Victoria will also release 16,000 secondary close contacts from quarantine.

“This just recognises the changing risk and the changing environment that we’re in,” Deputy Health Secretary Kate Matson said.

“We are no longer chasing COVID-zero in Victoria and we have 17,000 active cases in Victoria.”

Victoria’s vaccination numbers are also climbing with 85.19 per cent having had a first does and 57.67 per cent fully vaccinated.

The ACT recorded 25 new locally acquired to its COVID-19 cases on Saturday, as vaccination numbers continued to climb.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the national capital is “on the path to becoming one of the most vaccinated cities in the world” with 97.1 per cent of Canberrans having received a first dose and 69.3 per cent a second jab.

As the ACT enters its final week in lockdown, there was still growing uncertainty for residents near the border when NSW eases its restrictions on Monday.

A resident walks past a sign reminding people to stay at home during lockdown in Canberra, Wednesday, September 29, 2021. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING
A resident walks past a sign reminding people to stay at home during lockdown in Canberra, Wednesday, September 29, 2021. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING Credit: LUKAS COCH/AAPIMAGE

While exemptions are in place for travel to some cross-border communities, the ACT is looking at expanding regional travel limits.

Barr said Saturday’s press conference would be the last of its kind, with statements to be issued on weekends instead.

But the reality is different in other states where COVID-19 is almost non-existent and governments are desperate to drive up vaccination rates.

In South Australia, authorities are trying to track down people who may have been exposed to an Adelaide truck driver who tested positive after crossing the border at Yamba on Thursday night.

Four tier-three exposure sites including two country petrol stations as well as a laundromat and a supermarket in Adelaide’s north have been listed.

SA’s vaccination coverage is lagging along with Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, with less than 75 per cent of people in those jurisdictions having had a first dose.

Victoria has seen another record day of new coronavirus cases as the state nears its outbreak peak.
Victoria has seen another record day of new coronavirus cases as the state nears its outbreak peak. Credit: 7NEWS.com.au/ Sam Aitken

Out of those four, only NT has fully vaccinated more than 55 per cent of eligible residents.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath, like her SA, WA and NT counterparts, is urging people to get the jab before Delta arrives her state.

“Those people who have been sitting back and going ‘We don’t have an outbreak here, I can afford to wait’: time is up,” she said on Saturday.

“It’s going to be five to six weeks before people are fully protected if they get vaccinated today, we don’t know what five or six weeks are going to look like in November.”

STATE OF PLAY: The different realities being faced in different areas of Australia
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