NSW businesses face new COVID-19 restrictions days before Christmas

NSW restrictions

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Source: Women's Agenda.

The cluster of coronavirus cases linked to Sydney’s Northern Beaches is affecting an increasing number of businesses across the capital city, as more venues are named COVID-19 case locations and restrictions are reimposed, less than a week out from Christmas.

On Monday, NSW Health announced 15 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, which are all linked to the Northern Beaches, bringing the cluster’s total number of cases to 83.

Contract tracers identified a list of over 75 businesses across Sydney, from the Northern Beaches to Penrith, where infected people had visited, and are calling on visitors and staff to self-isolate and get tested. Among the businesses are gyms, bowling clubs, RSLs, restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels and hair salons.

Contact tracers also identified a list of 60 additional locations as potential sites of exposure, however, NSW Health is only asking visitors to those sites to get tested and monitor for symptoms.

In response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases, the NSW government reimposed rules on venues across Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and the Central Coast.

From Monday, December 21, hospitality venues must have 4 square metres of space per person and a maximum of 300 people in a venue.

Businesses in the Northern Beaches are facing even tougher restrictions while the area is in lockdown, with many indoor businesses required to close.

In an announcement on Sunday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the restrictions would help limit activities that spread the virus and ensure the state’s contract tracing capacity is not overrun.

“We know, for example, that the cases that have been the subject of the Avalon cluster essentially came from two events, a bowling club and an RSL club,” Berejiklian said.

Australian states and territories have also reintroduced travel restrictions, with many states declaring Greater Sydney a COVID-19 hotspot and requiring return travellers to quarantine for 14 days.

For more information about the coronavirus in NSW and border restrictions, visit NSW Health or your state’s department of health website.

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