New restrictions to be introduced in Greater Sydney as Avalon Cluster continues to grow

Sydney, Australia:

NSW recorded 30 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, and an additional six cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

Of the 30 locally acquired cases reported today, 28 are linked to the Avalon cluster. Investigations are ongoing into the source of the remaining two cases, both of whom live on the Northern Beaches. There are now 68 cases associated with the Avalon cluster, the source of which remains under investigation.

Due to the growing risk to the people of NSW from the evolving Avalon COVID-19 outbreak, new restrictions will be introduced for Greater Sydney from tonight to reduce the risk of further community transmission.

From 11.59pm tonight:

• Household gatherings will be limited to 10 visitors (until 11.59pm on Wednesday 23 December).

• The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor settings, including hospitality venues and places of worship.

• A cap of 300 people will apply for hospitality venues and places of worship.

• Singing and chanting performances in indoor venues will not be allowed.

• Dancefloors will not be permitted, except for weddings, when a maximum of 20 from the wedding party will be permitted.

People in the Greater Sydney area, including the Central Coast, Illawarra Shoalhaven and Nepean Blue Mountains regions, are also urged not to visit residential aged care facilities, disability services or vulnerable people unless it is critical. This advice will be re-assessed on Wednesday 23 December.

People across the Greater Sydney are also advised to wear masks in indoor settings such as shops and hospitality venues, in line with advice already issued to those in the Northern Beaches.

‘Stay at home’ orders in place for residents of the Northern Beaches local government area (LGA) will also continue until 11.59pm on Wednesday 23 December to control the spread of COVID-19.

Further clear advice will be provided to the community before Christmas.Under yesterday’s Public Health Order, all residents of the Northern Beaches LGA are required to stay at home, unless permitted to leave for certain reasons.

Acceptable reasons for leaving home include shopping for food and other essential goods and services; travelling to work or an educational institution if working or studying from home is not possible; exercising; seeking medical care; providing carer’s responsibilities and meeting compassionate needs.

It is strongly recommended masks are worn when leaving isolation for these permitted reasons.

Any residents of the Northern Beaches LGA who left the area on or since Thursday 10 December 2020 must comply with the same restrictions that apply to the Northern Beaches, regardless of their current location.

Information retrieved from NSW Health.