NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has foreshadowed a very tame New Year’s Eve across Sydney, with coronavirus restrictions largely expected to remain in place.
The city is dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 in the northern beaches, with more than 100 cases linked to a concerning cluster.
“As I foreshadowed, we’ll be taking health advice in the next few days as to what New Year’s Eve looks like,” the Premier warned.
“But there are some basic things I can communicate very strongly today. That is, everybody should assume they’re watching the fireworks from home this year.”
She also reminded hospitality venues to assume the four square metre rule, adding that current restrictions will be reviewed in the next few days
On Saturday, the Premier confirmed nine new infections have been recorded in the state overnight.
This includes eight cases that were linked to the northern beaches cluster, and one case that health authorities suspect could be a false positive.
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The Premier’s announcement came after rumours swirled that Sydney’s iconic New Year’s Eve fireworks display would be cancelled this year.
“We know for a fact the vast majority of us will be watching the display from home,” the Premier confirmed.
“Outside of that, we will await health advice.”
Of the nine cases from today, one also includes an infection linked to a person who flew from Sydney to Griffith on Monday 21 December.
Despite promising numbers, the Premier is yet to relax restrictions amid concerns of another cluster.
“There are still concerns about the CBD and still concerns about people in the Northern Beaches who may unintentionally have spread the virus without knowing they have it,” Ms Berejiklian stressed.
“At this stage, I cannot foreshadow any difference as to what will occur in regional New South Wales, but obviously in relation to greater Sydney, the Northern Beaches, it’s an evolving situation,” the Premier explained, promising a review of current restriction in three days’ time.
“The reason why we’re doing it at the moment in three day, bite-size chunks, is to make sure we have the best advice available. We don’t want to spend a single day or a single hour imposing anything we do not have to, and that is why we’re doing things the way we are.”
Despite the positive numbers, northern beaches residents will still be under strict stay-at-home provisions.
Northern part of the Northern Beaches: “You revert back to the stay-at-home provisions, except if you‘re having an outside gathering of up to five people for recreation or exercise purposes. And it will be until midnight on December 30.”
Southern part of the Northern Beaches: “We revert back to the state home provisions, but you can have outdoor gatherings with 10 people for recreation or exercise reasons, but we do not want any people outside of the household coming into households for the next three days.”
Greater Sydney: “We revert back to what happened on December 23, so, go back to no more than 10 people in your household.