Australia

Gladys Berejiklian says ‘unlikely’ restrictions will change this week

Restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus in NSW will likely remain until authorities finish investigating mystery community infections, the state’s leader said on Tuesday. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there were no changes to restrictions foreshadowed at the moment, and that any rule modifications would be subject to NSW Health finding out how mystery cases…

Restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus in NSW will likely remain until authorities finish investigating mystery community infections, the state’s leader said on Tuesday.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there were no changes to restrictions foreshadowed at the moment, and that any rule modifications would be subject to NSW Health finding out how mystery cases were spreading across the state.

When asked if there was any chance of restrictions easing this week, Ms Berejiklian answered “Look, I’ll be honest – that depends on the health advice”.

“But it’s unlikely given where we’re at, because we’re still mopping up,” she said.

“We’re still seeing community transmission. Even though in most instances, (it’s in) household contacts or people already in isolation, but we have had a couple of examples where they’re still unlinked, and that’s always a concern.”

Current restrictions in NSW say everyone in Greater Sydney – which holds the majority of the state’s population – must wear a mask in public indoor spaces.

There are also limits on how many people can gather at home and in public, and caps on visitors to bars and other hospitality venues, among other rules designed to curb the spread of the virus.

Ms Berejiklian’s comments came as state virus experts scrambled to connect the dots between several ongoing community transmissions.

NSW recorded five new cases, all of them in Sydney, in the latest 24-hour period.

They include four cases where authorities still can’t explain how the people were infected. Two of those were in the western Sydney suburb of Mt Druitt, and the other two in the northern beaches area.

The fifth case was linked to a cluster in the western Sydney suburb of Berala.

“Obviously the Mount Druitt case yesterday and the northern beaches cases, I think we‘ll find the link, but at the moment, the links are not yet established,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“While that’s going on, I doubt there will be an easing of restrictions. But if the health advice changing on that, we will, of course, do that.”

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