Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced new restrictions for Sydney as 13 new locally acquired cases are announced. The Bondi cluster has grown to 31 cases.
- From 4pm today, no more than five visitors will be allowed in homes — that includes children.
- Mask wearing is now mandatory in many outdoor and indoor venues and spaces. The only times which mask-wearing is not is required is when you are eating and drinking.
- “Vertical consumption” has been banned at hospitality venues. Only seated service will be allowed.
- Singing and dancing has been banned in indoor spaces. The exception is weddings where 20 people will be allowed on the dancefloor at any one time.
- The one person per four square metre rule has also come back into force for hospitality venues.
- Outdoor sporting events and outdoor concerts have been capped at 50% capacity with masks required.
- Gym classes are still allowed but will be capped at 20 with masks required.
- Seven local government areas (LGAs) have been identified in Sydney as hot spots with increased restrictions. Those are: The City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra, Bayside, Canada Bay, The Inner West, and Randwick.
- For people living or working in those LGAs, travel from outside of metropolitan Sydney has been restricted until further notice except for essential travel.
In a press conference, Berejiklian apologised for the impact that the changes would have, but stressed the “very serious” nature of the present outbreak. The new cases are all traced and linked but health officials are concerned about the speed of the spread of the new Delta strain of COVID-19.
“Please abandon non-essential activities, please don’t attend social gatherings unless you absolutely must,” she said.
The NSW Health Minister Brad Hazard said that he is “as worried as he’s ever been” about the new strain.
Hazard acknowledged that there is a degree of tiredness and frustration about the recurring restrictions, but that this new Delta variant is far more dangerous and transmissible than the regular SARS-COV-2 virus and swift action must be taken.
“What I would say to our community is we have gone from that near and present danger to a very real and present danger, not just in a shopping centre, but right across Sydney.
“We need all take this seriously. We each have the future of our fellow NSW residents and Sydney residents in our hands,” Hazard said.
NSW recorded 10 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, seven of which were already announced yesterday morning.
NSW Health has also been notified of 13 new locally acquired cases overnight. These cases will be included in tomorrow's numbers. pic.twitter.com/OFxWSq0ocb
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) June 23, 2021
Eight of the new cases reported come from a single gathering at a birthday party in West Hoxton. The infectious individual at the party apparently had no symptoms until the evening after the party when they got tested. The individual appears to have spread the virus while asymptomatic.
People living outside of the LGAs that have been identified as high-risk areas but working within them are encouraged to work from home.
Anyone who was at Westfield Shopping Centre in Bondi Junction from the 12th to the 18th of June must get tested – this includes the carpark and particularly the Fitness First gym in the centre.
NSW Health reported that there have been 44,640 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 28,645.