The New South Wales Government has reintroduced a number of venue restrictions for Greater Sydney as it looks to get on top of the latest COVID-19 outbreak, which grew by 16 cases.

That brings the total number of cases linked to the Bondi to 31, but the four cases they have not been able to trace so far have health authorities concerned.

To combat the outbreak the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a range of new restrictions that will come into effect from 4pm today and which will be in place for one week.

These include:

  • Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events;
  • Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed;
  • Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs however, dancing is allowed at weddings for the bridal party only (no more than 20 people);
  • The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals;
  • Outdoor seated events will be limited to 50% seated capacity;
  • If you live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra local government areas, you cannot travel outside metropolitan Sydney for non-essential travel.

Premier Berejiklian said we are once again asking the community to do what they do best and follow the health advice to get on top of this outbreak.

“We don’t take these steps lightly and we never want to impose restrictions unless we absolutely have to,” she said.

“We know the effect this will have on residents and venues but we must take this action now to ensure we keep on top of this outbreak.”

Asked why the Government hasn’t introduced a lockdown, the Premier said: “We have considered all the options, but we have always said we won’t burden our citizens unless we absolutely have to. We know, basically, where the super-spreader events have been, we know where the virus is circulating, and we don’t want to take any further action than what we have now, but this relies on all of us reigning in our behaviour; all of us following the health orders that are coming into place from 4pm.

“I’m not ruling out any further action, but I am also confident that if we adhere to the health orders today, we will have a good chance of getting on top of this outbreak.

“I’m not going to rule out further action, I’m not going to rule out what happens beyond this week, because we don’t know. We certainly didn’t expect this situation a few days ago. If we need to take further action within the week or after the week, we are open to that, but we just don’t know yet because the situation in evolving.”

The AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Policing, John Green told The Shout: “ If there has ever been a time to be extremely vigilant when it comes to all hospitality venues strictly ensuring all patrons and staff have checked in using the Government’s QR code check-in, this is the time.

“These restrictions on the cusp of another holiday period will have a significant impact – jobs will be lost and shifts will be reduced.”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard also told this morning’s press conference that retailers as well as venues need to be tracking patrons either through QR Codes or even pen and paper.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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