New South Wales has recorded seven new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 from more than 31,000 tests.
It comes as the state government announces mandatory mask wearing in some indoor settings, while the lockdown on the southern end of the northern beaches will be lifted.
Five of the new cases are linked to a cluster at Berala in Sydney’s west including four from the same household.
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One new case is a contact of a quarantine transport worker while the final case is still under investigation.
From midnight tonight, the wearing of masks will become mandatory across Greater Sydney in certain indoor settings.
They include shopping centres, on public transport, entertainment venues such as cinemas, places of worship, hair and beauty salons, gaming areas in venues while staff in hospitality venues will also be required to wear a mask.
People not wearing a mask in those settings face a $200 fine from Monday.
Children under 12 will be exempt but are still encouraged to wear a mask.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the new rules on masks should come as no surprise.
“We have already strongly wanted people to wear a mask but we do not want to restrict people’s ability to go about that business but we want to increase economic activity and mask wearing in these settings will ensure we have the confidence to do that,” The Premier said.
Numbers at gym classes will be reduced to 30 while weddings, funerals and places of worship will be capped at 100 with the four square metre rule also in place.
Performances and activities will have their numbers reduced from 1000 to 500 while outdoor events will be capped at 2000.
Officials will today inspect the SCG and go over the venue’s COVID-safe plan ahead of next week’s third cricket test.
Residents in the southern zone of Sydney’s northern beaches will be released from their lockdown and will now be subject to the same restrictions as the rest of Greater Sydney.
“According to the health advice, the risk of transmission in that part of the Northern Beaches has dissipated and as I foreshadowed yesterday and the day before, there is a greater risk at this stage of community transmission in parts of Western Sydney than if they are in that southern section of the Northern Beaches.”
The lockdown on the northern end of the northern beaches will remain in place until January 9.