Australia

No new local COVID-19 cases in NSW

NSW has recorded no new locally acquired coronavirus cases for the 16th day in a row. There were, however, five new cases in overseas travellers in hotel quarantine.There was also an announcement that the source of a cluster in the Southern Highlands town of Moss Vale has been identified.Health officials say it has now been…

NSW has recorded no new locally acquired coronavirus cases for the 16th day in a row.

There were, however, five new cases in overseas travellers in hotel quarantine.

There was also an announcement that the source of a cluster in the Southern Highlands town of Moss Vale has been identified.

Health officials say it has now been connected with a previously reported cluster in the Sydney suburb of Liverpool.

That finding means there hasn’t been a NSW coronavirus case since late October that has an unknown source.

That case was reported on October 24 and was associated with the Hoxton Park cluster.

“I’m deeply grateful to our citizens,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Monday.

“Every step of the way our citizens have come with us, and I just ask for people to keep doing that.”

There are 78 people being treated for COVID-19 in the state.

The new numbers come as the NSW-Victoria border opened up after more than four months of limited access.

And other restrictions eased, too.

NSW residents will now be allowed to invite up to 500 people to outdoor religious events, and carollers will be allowed to sing outdoors in groups of up to 30 people.

Controlled outdoor events that are ticketed and held in an enclosed or fenced area will be allowed up to 3000 people.

Previously, music performances and rehearsals could only be held outdoors with a maximum of 500 people.

But some rules have become stricter.

NSW businesses will be forced to check-in customers electronically from now on, meaning pen and paper is no longer an accepted method of registration.

Speaking in Albury before the lifting of the NSW-Victoria border at 12.01am on Monday, Ms Berejiklian said she was confident in her state’s strategy to live in a COVID-safe way.

“We’ve had the most practise at it, and I can appreciate that some of the smaller states haven’t,” she said.

Ms Berejiklian said the four-month closure was estimated to have cost several million dollars, but there was no price on “keeping the community safe”.

More than five million cars crossed through the border checkpoint and one million permits were given out during the hard border.

Even as NSW and Victoria open up to each other, South Australia’s COVID-19 outbreak has caused alarm in NSW.

Anyone who has recently been in South Australia is urged to complete a declaration form on the Service NSW website so that health officials can keep track of anyone who has been to an “area of concern”.

Anyone who has been to South Australia and feels any symptoms should immediately self-isolate and get tested.

NSW Health also advises residents to steer clear of Adelaide unless a visit is absolutely necessary.

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