The pandemic is far from over.
That was the grim warning from NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard today, as the Government released new restrictions for greater Sydney and beyond.
The restrictions come in the wake of a surge of locally acquired cases of the delta variant of COVID-19.
“We don’t take these steps lightly and we never want to impose restrictions unless we absolutely have to,” – NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian
The variant is highly contagious.
NSW Health has been notified of 13 new locally acquired cases overnight and there are now 31 cases linked to the so-called “Bondi cluster”. The cluster is believed to have stemmed from an unvaccinated limousine driver transporting international flight crew to and from Sydney Airport.
The man, who is in his 60s, had visited Westfield Bondi Junction.
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His wife reportedly also caught the virus.
“We don’t take these steps lightly and we never want to impose restrictions unless we absolutely have to,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
“We know the effect this will have on residents and venues but we must take this action now to ensure we keep on top of this outbreak.”
From 4pm today, visitors to households in Greater Sydney the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour are limited to five guests. This includes children.
Dust off your masks. They are compulsory in workplaces. They also must be worn at all organised outdoor events (except during eating or drinking).
Masks are compulsory in workplaces from 4pm, Wednesday 23 June.
In churches, singing is not permitted. Singing is also not allowed by audiences at indoor shows.
Forget going out dancing this weekend, unless you’re getting hitched, or part of a bridal party. Dancing is only permitted at weddings for the bridal party (a maximum of 20 people). No other dancing – at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs – is allowed.
Dance and gym classes are now limited to 20 per class. Masks must be worn during the activity.
The “one person per four square metre” rule is also back for all indoor and outdoor settings, and public transport caps are back.
Outdoor seated events will be limited to 50 per cent capacity.
Finally, for those who live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra local government areas, travel outside of metropolitan Sydney for non-essential travel is not permitted.
For those who live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra local government areas, travel outside of metropolitan Sydney for non-essential travel is not permitted.
The restrictions will last for at least one week.
Meanwhile, NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant urged people to get tested.
There were 44,640 tests reported in NSW yesterday, compared with the previous day’s total of 28,645.
“We need really high testing rates to make sure we’re stopping any chains of transmission,” Dr Chant said.
“And we’re continuing to urge people to come forward for testing, especially if you were in Westfield Bondi Junction (including the car park) at any time between 12 June and 18 June.”