Anti-vaxxers have shouted abuse at hundreds of Sydneysiders lining up at a Covid-19 testing site.
A huge queue of residents were seen waiting for their swab on Macquarie Street in the city’s CBD on Thursday.
But a handful of unvaccinated people were reportedly seen hurling abuse from the other side of the street.
Testing numbers have been steadily climbing in NSW, reaching a record 143,938 on Thursday after the state suffered its highest daily case total of 1,742 infections.
Hundreds of Sydneysiders were seen lining up outside a testing clinic in the CBD on Thursday
A long line of residents snaked its way around the city as many lined up for a Covid test
Testing rates have ramped up following a huge spike in cases around NSW
South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania are requiring negative tests for interstate entry.
Thursday’s case numbers beat the state’s previous high of 1,599 new cases which was reported on September 10.
Officials believed new more-transmissible Omicron strain is to blame but Premier Dominic Perrottet has removed vaccine passports and some mask mandates because he is confident the hospital system can cope with the surge.
There are currently 670 people in hospital with Covid in Australia including 192 in NSW and 384 in Victoria, which recorded 1,622 cases on Thursday.
Several studies have shown that two doses of a Covid vaccine are significantly less effective at stopping mild infection against Omicron than other strains – but they are still believed to be good at stopping severe disease.
However, a booster dose revives protection against mild infection to a high level.
With 78,610 cases a day on Wednesday and rising hospitalisations, the UK has brought forward booster doses to three months after second doses.
Anti-vaxxers were reportedly shouting abuse at those in line for a Covid swab on Thursday
Hundreds of residents lined up for a swab on Thursday amid a surge in infections
Australia brought forward the timeline from six to five months but has not opted for a three month gap because, with only 3,398 new infections on Thursday, the caseload is not as high as the UK.
Earlier ABC TV anchor Leigh Sales shared her theory for why Covid case numbers may be rising ahead of Christmas.
The ABC host questioned whether high testing numbers prompted by travel requirements are behind the recent spike in NSW.
‘Queues for covid testing in Sydney are suddenly long, partly because of people needing a test to travel,’ she wrote on Twitter.
‘Is it possible that’s why case numbers are up – catching more asymptomatic people who otherwise would be invisible?’
ABC host Leigh Sales has shared her theory for why Covid case numbers may be rising ahead of Christmas
Covid cases spiked on Thursday and will continue to grow (pictured swimmers at Bondi beach)
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard warned Covid-19 cases are going to continue to rise, with modelling showing they could hit 25,000 a day by the end of January if the reproduction rate climbs.
He said the high case rate should encourage people to get booster shots, which 9,000 people did on Tuesday.
Having two shots of a vaccine is not believed to reduce the transmissibility of the Omicron variant but does protect against more severe disease.
Booster shots are available for people who received their second shot five or more months ago.
Wednesday’s was the highest daily tally since September 11, when much of the state was still under lockdown.
It came on the day restrictions on unvaccinated people, mask wearing mandates and QR code check-ins were dropped in most settings.
On Wednesday, border restrictions on what had previously been eight southern African countries of concern were eased.
Arrivals who have been in those countries are now under the same rules as all other international travellers.
On Wednesday health minister Brad Hazzard said based on current modelling there could be as many as 25,000 cases a day in January