National News

NSW, Vic start new year with virus records

Australia's two more populous states have kicked off 2022 with record numbers of new COVID-19 cases.

NSW recorded another 22,577 COVID cases and four deaths as the state's huge outbreak continues to surge.

It is another daily case record, surpassing Friday's 21,151.

The rising case numbers come as Premier Dominic Perrottet continues to focus on hospitalisation and intensive care numbers rather than the daily case total.

There are currently 901 people hospitalised with the virus in NSW, with 79 people in intensive care.

Meanwhile, Victoria recorded another 7442 COVID-19 infections for the final day of 2021, starting the new year with another pandemic record.

It is a jump of more than 1500 cases on Friday's 5919 infections.

Another nine people - aged in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s - have died with the virus, taking the state's toll since the pandemic began to 1534.

There are now more than 24,000 active cases in Victoria, along with 98 people in intensive care, including 51 actively infectious and 21 ventilated.

Positive cases have interrupted plans for many Victorians, including the audience of a Regents Theatre New Year's Eve matinee performance of Moulin Rouge who were told with 30 minutes to go and without explanation that the remainder of the show was cancelled.

In a statement organisers told AAP the show was discontinued out of an abundance of caution, after a positive test result in the wider company. Future performances are also up in the air.

Performances of Frozen The Musical at Her Majesty's Theatre have also been cancelled until at least January 5 after cases were detected among the company.

Queensland has made the wearing of masks indoors compulsory as the state recorded 2266 virus cases on Saturday.

Tasmania almost doubled its active COVID-19 case load overnight, recording 428 new infections.

It means there are now 938 cases in the island state, up from 520 active infections on Friday.

Premier Peter Gutwein said with a highly vaccinated population Tasmania would not be heading into lockdown or closing its borders because of the climbing case numbers.

However, he did advise caution to travellers, reminding Tasmanians and visitors if they contracted the virus or became a close contact while away, they would have to isolate at their own cost.

The ACT reported 448 new cases of COVID-19 on New Year's Day, bringing its active total 1479.

Ten children are among the 71 people in South Australian hospitals being treated for COVID-19, as the state starts the New Year with 2100 new infections.

The state had 40 patients in hospital the day before.

The Northern Territory has recorded 54 new COVID-19 cases after rolling out a new indoor mask mandate, while Western Australia has detected two new local COVID-19 cases linked to an infected French backpacker who travelled from Queensland.

© AAP 2022