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23 Jun, 2021 01:01 AM3 minutes to read
Queues at a Bondi Covid testing site yesterday. Photo / News Corp Australia
NSW has banned non-essential travel outside of Sydney and made mask-wearing mandatory everywhere after the state today recorded 16 new locally acquired Covid cases.
There are now 37 cases linked to the Bondi cluster.
Of the new cases, eight attended a party in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at a media briefing today.
One of the cases is a person who was in the same waiting room as a previously known case, and four are under investigation, “but all are in close proximity to the southeast Sydney cluster”, Berejiklian said.
Today’s numbers come after NZ health authorities revealed a Covid-positive Australian man had travelled on a Qantas flight from Sydney to Wellington on June 18 and returned home on an Air NZ flight on June 21.
The Wellington region will go into alert level 2 from 6pm today. A list of New Zealand exposure sites was released this morning.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Photo / News Corp AustraliaFrom 4pm today local time, the following restrictions will apply for Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Shellharbour:
• No more than five visitors to any household, including children
• All customers must be seated at hospitality venues
• Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events
• No singing or dancing at venues, except weddings which can have 20 people on the dance floor at one time
• The one person per four square metre rule will be reinstated
• Outdoor seated events will be limited to 50 per cent seated capacity
• Dance and gym classes will be capped at 20, with masks required
NSW recorded 10 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, seven of which were already announced yesterday morning.
NSW Health has also been notified of 13 new locally acquired cases overnight. These cases will be included in tomorrow’s numbers. pic.twitter.com/OFxWSq0ocb
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) June 23, 2021
Expert calls for lockdownYesterday, NSW Health recorded 10 new locally acquired cases, taking the Bondi cluster total to 21.
New mask restrictions were brought in yesterday, but epidemiologist and World Health Organisation adviser Professor Mary-Louise McLaws suggested a lockdown would add another layer of protection.
“We may need to think about a stay home order for a couple of days. I’m sure the authorities will feel quite confident by Saturday,” McLaws told ABC’s News Breakfast today.
McLaws said a “quick, sharp stay at home order” would give authorities time to identify any other potential chains of transmission.
All but one of the cases announced yesterday were either linked to a known exposure site, a close contact of a case or a household contact of a case.
The one infection that is yet to be linked to the Bondi cluster is a child from St Charles Catholic Primary School in the Sydney suburb of Waverley.
An urgent investigation is under way into the source of the infection, with health authorities focusing on those linked to the primary school and its wider community.