Sydney’s COVID outbreak has escalated significantly with a further 16 cases recorded since yesterday, prompting tough and wide-ranging restrictions.
Three extra cases were detected before 8pm last night with a further 13 cases confirmed since then.
Eight of today’s cases contracted the virus at a party in West Hoxton where an infected worker from Bondi Junction had also attended.
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New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced a raft of new restrictions but is still resisting a wider lockdown for now.
The restrictions will apply across Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour.
Households will be limited to no more than five visitors, including children.
The one person per four square metre rule will return while patrons will have to be seated in bars and restaurants.
Dancing and singing will be banned, except for at weddings while outdoor seated events will be limited to 50 per cent capacity.
Dance and gym classes will be limited to 20 people but people must wear masks at all times.
Mask wearing will also be mandatory in all indoor settings including workplaces.
On top of that, people who live or work in the Waverley, City of Sydney, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside and Woollahra council areas are being warned to travel outside of metropolitan Sydney unless ‘utterly essential’.
People from outside those councils are also being urged to avoid travelling to those areas.
“We’re not saying you cannot leave your home for any reason in metropolitan Sydney, you can. We are not putting any objections on you leaving the home for any purpose, but if you happen to live or work in those seven LGA is, we don’t want you moving outside of Sydney,” Ms Berejiklian.
“We don’t want spreading to our regions. We don’t want spreading to holiday destinations within New South Wales, at regional New South Wales in particular and I think the vast majority of the public understand that.”
The Premier has so far resisted a lockdown but insists it remains an option.
“I am not going to rule out further action, I am not going to rule out what happens beyond a week, because we don’t know. We certainly didn’t expect this situation a few days ago.
“If we need to take further action within the week or after the week, we are open to that but we just don’t know yet because the situation is evolving.”