Three new cases as NSW restrictions ease

NSW has recorded three new locally acquired cases of the coronavirus, as thousands of Sydney residents in lockdown since before Christmas have woken to new-found freedom.

The three new cases, two linked to the Berala cluster and one to the northern beaches cluster, are all close contacts of known cases.

As stay-at-home orders finally lift for residents north of Narrabeen Bridge on Sydney’s northern beaches, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged all Sydneysiders to stay on high alert.


“The main threat has to some extent subsided, (but) we are still mopping up,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Sunday.

“And that’s why all of us have to be on high alert.

“The risk in Greater Sydney is the same today as it was last week, because it only takes one or two cases to get out of control.”

Three new cases were also recorded in hotel quarantine, as concern about mutated strains of the virus reaching Australia grow.

Ms Berejiklian on Saturday said more cases of the United Kingdom and South African strains of COVID-19 will turn up in Australians returning home and spending time in hotel quarantine systems.

“We have to assume that this strain will become the dominant strain, and it is important to keep re-assessing our settings, keep staying vigilant,” she said.

Her comments come as Australia faces an anxious wait to see if the highly contagious UK version of the virus has spread from Brisbane.

Greater Brisbane is halfway through a three-day lockdown after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel was diagnosed with the more infectious British strain.

The NSW government subsequently ordered anyone in the state who had been in Greater Brisbane since January 2 to adhere to the same regulations.

Travellers from the area will only be able to leave their accommodation until 6pm on Monday to shop, exercise, work, perform care or seek medical help.

Anyone already in transit from Greater Brisbane to NSW must abide by Queensland’s isolation rules and act as if they had remained in Brisbane.

© AAP 2021