All good things must come to an end, including New South Wales’ streak of having zero cases of community transmission.
On May 5, a man in his 50s — apparently a barbeque enthusiast — tested positive for COVID-19. Overnight, a second case has also been confirmed, his wife. Nine other close contacts of the original case have all returned negative results.
Although NSW health authorities have confirmed the infected man has the same strain of coronavirus as a returned traveller from the US — the latter tested positive for COVID-19 on day one of their quarantine and was then transferred to a health quarantine facility — there is currently a “missing link” between the two cases.
Genomic testing was able to reveal this, but as Dr Kerry Chant, NSW chief health officer, explained, the Sydney man “had not come in contact with a quarantine or border worker.” As of now, there’s no direct link between the two cases.
However, the man and his wife visited a variety of venues around Sydney whilst infectious — including four barbecue stores and a meat store, which has resulted in various social media memes and a Betoota Advocate article — prompting NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to tighten social distancing restrictions once again.
New COVID Restrictions NSW
According to ABC News, restrictions are returning from 5pm today, May 6, across Greater Sydney, Wollongong, Central Coast and the Blue Mountains, until 12:01am Monday, May 10. They include the following:
- No more than 20 guests (including children) to gather in a household
- Masks compulsory on public transport and in public indoor venues including retail, theatres, hospitals and aged care facilities
- Front of house hospitality staff must wear face masks
- Drinking while standing in indoor venue is not allowed
- Singing by audiences at indoor shows or at indoor worship is not allowed
- Dancing is not allowed in indoor hospitality venues or clubs, except for at weddings where it’s recommended no more than 20 people are on a dancefloor at one time
- Visitors to aged care facilities must be limited to two people