In a press briefing, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian wanted “to stress” what she meant by easing the restrictions on people visiting other households that she announced yesterday.
From this Friday, May 1, “two adults will be able to go and visit anybody else in their home on the basis of care, on the basis of reducing social isolation and everybody’s mental health,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Today, the Premier clarified “this does not give you a licence to go beyond the rules”.
“Please know how important it is for everyone to respect the rules we’ve put in place,” she said. The reason why we’re allowing people to come into other people’s households is to extend the definition of care. It’s to reduce social isolation and it’s to improve mental health because we know that so many people in our community have been, literally, locked up in their homes for weeks on end.”
A Reminder To Continue Safe Practices
Ms Berejiklian said the State thanks those who have stayed at home, but the easing of restrictions in visiting others comes with its own set of exceptions to ensure everyone’s safety.
“We expect every family, every close friendship to have a conversation about what you do with the new arrangements,” she said. “In my case, I will be still standing outside the house and not going into my parents home when I visit them, because I’m still in contact with a lot of people and I don’t want to put my parents at risk.
“And, these are conversations every family should be having. If you’re visiting someone in particular who is vulnerable… please know how virulent, how contagious, this disease is and the horrible impact it can have if you get the serious side effects from it. We don’t want to see families unnecessarily go through that grief.”
Ms Berejiklian said her government “haven’t put a limit on how far you can travel to visit a loved one”; all that is asked of everyone is to act responsibly.
“This is not a holiday. The reason we’re allowing people to do this is to reduce isolation, to improve mental health and to give people that bit of contact which they haven’t had – for some people if you’re working from home – for a very long timw,” she said.
The four reasons you can leave the house remain as: going to and from your place of work or school, when you need to buy something, for exercise, or for care and medical needs.
Ms Berejiklian said the new allowance of visiting another person’s household is “an extension of the definition of care”.
“I don’t ever want to be in a situation where New South Wales has to go backwards on something we’ve allowed people to do,” she said. “If everybody sticks to the rules and moves forward together, we won’t have to go backwards in terms of the restrictions. I want us to keep making steps forward and we can only do that if everybody cooperates and everybody respects the rules and has the conversations with their loved ones: will there be physical contact, how long will the visit be and what are the risks associated with everybody when they make that change?”
In the past 24 hours, NSW undertook 5400 tests, confirming 11 news cases of coronavirus. One case is from an unknown source.
Ms Berejiklian also asked this morning for as many people as possible to come forward and get tested in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We want to see that (testing) number average out to at least 8000 a day,” she said. “If you have the slightest sniffle, if you have a scratchy throat, if you work with vulnerable people, anywhere in the State, please come forward and get tested. It’s really important for us to manage the spread, to control the spread, and we can’t do that if enough people don’t come forward and get tested. So, please make sure you do; we’re making it as easy as possible.”
For testing clinic locations and other information and resources, check here.
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