Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged NSW citizens to limit their activity and consider how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. The Premier said NSW had entered a state of high alert in its fight against the spread of COVID-19. NSW Health reported eight new diagnoses overnight.
“We need to make sure we contain this virus. We need to make sure we get on top of any potential hot spots. Or any potential community transmission that might be bubbling away under the surface,” Berejiklian said.
“All of us need to limit our activity. All of us need to think about what we’re doing, all of us need to think about how we are keeping ourselves safe, our family safe, and our loved ones safe.
The Premier said she is encouraged by the numbers of people coming forward for testing and of the great efforts of NSW Health in contact tracing. However, she suggested community transmission was an issue.
“Overnight we had eight cases, two of whom were in quarantine, six of whom were in community transmission. Since 8 pm last night, we also have five additional cases.”
To stem the tide of transmission Berejiklian said she would be extending restrictions put in place for pubs in NSW to other venues in the hospitality industry.
“From Friday next week, the restrictions we’ve imposed on pubs will extend to clubs, restaurants, cafes, and all indoor hospitality venues. So, whatever restrictions we announced last week and the most important one I think for the majority of our citizens is no group bookings above ten people, will now apply.”
The Premier said the reasoning behind the change was to reduce mingling at venues.
“We absolutely need everybody seated when they are in a venue. When you have smaller groups, there is less chance of people getting up and mingling. We do not want any sort of mingling, that spreads the disease.”
Berejiklian said the rules covering visitors to private residences had not changed. Up to 20 people are allowed to visit your home. However, she stressed that the Chief Medical Officer might suggest a change to reduce the number to 10 in the coming days.
“We’re not going to change them at this stage. But in the next little while, we ask people to be thoughtful about who they welcome. How many they welcome and especially protect those most vulnerable.”
The number of attendees for wedding and funeral ceremonies has also been capped at 150 and 100 respectively. The Premier said the disparity between the figures was because wedding ceremonies were predominantly a sit-down affair while funerals could take many forms. Berejiklian also stressed that the numbers was a maximum and small venues would not have this capacity as the 4 square metre rule, and 1.5-metre social distancing still applied.
“The numbers we talk about are caps, and they relate to the larger venues across the state.”
The Premier said the new restrictions were being put in place to keep NSW safe and curb community transmission.
“This is all about making sure we allow people to have their livelihoods, to keep moving forward, but also important to reduce the risk.
“The health experts have told us what the high-risk areas are and we are responding to that, and I think it is sensible and prudent and the best way forward.”
Berejiklian urged NSW citizens to remain vigilant and not get complacent about transmission. She cited the COVID-19 outbreak at the Crossroads Hotel as an example of how quickly the virus can spread.
It is a good case study of how quickly and how widely the disease can spread. It is a good wake-up call for all of us because I feel there was too much complacency in the community. We thought that the worst was behind us, but unfortunately, it is not.”Life is not back to normal until there is a vaccine or a cure. We do not know when that is but what we do know is that until that time, we must mitigate the risk and reduce the risk of those activities that we know more quickly spread the virus.”
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