No new NSW local cases, restrictions ease

NSW has recorded no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 as more people are permitted to come together for worship, in hospitality venues and outside at gatherings.

There were no new local cases in the state in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday, NSW Health said in a statement, while five new cases were uncovered in travellers in hotel quarantine.

The total of five cases comes from almost 13,000 tests, prompting another appeal from NSW Health for the state’s residents to seek testing if they feel unwell.

“NSW Health continues to appeal to the community to come forward for testing right away if anyone has even the mildest of symptoms like a runny nose or scratchy throat, cough, fever or other symptoms that could be COVID-19,” Dr Stephen Corbett said in a statement.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has also urged more people to wear masks on public transport.

It’s the second consecutive 24-hour period in which NSW recorded no new locally-acquired virus cases, and comes as the state government from this weekend eases some restrictions.

Up to 30 people are now allowed to gather outdoors, group bookings at hospitality venues have been extended from 10 to 30 people and up to 300 are allowed at places of worship.

Protesters can also gather en masse, with up to 500 people allowed to convene outdoors.

Staffing regulations at gyms across NSW have also been relaxed, with a safety marshal only required when more than 20 people are working out.

However, with severe thunderstorms and rainfall forecast throughout much of the state, the larger outdoor gatherings may be held off for another week.

A coronavirus alert was earlier this week issued for anyone who attended the Bathurst 1000 motor race last weekend after traces of the virus were found in the city’s sewage.

NSW Health urged residents and visitors to Bathurst to get tested even if they had mild symptoms, and to remain in isolation until test results came back.

No COVID-19 patients in NSW are currently in intensive care.

© AAP 2020