Restrictions in Sydney tightened as new cluster emerges

Restrictions in Sydney tightened as new cluster emerges

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced new restrictions for Sydney ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations on Thursday night.

Gladys Berejiklian says all household gatherings on New Year's Eve in Greater Sydney will now be restricted to five (5)  people, as a new COVID-19 cluster emerges in the city's inner west.  

There were 18 new cases in Sydney in the past 24 hours, including nine in the northern beaches and six in the new cluster in Croydon. There have also been a further two infections in Wollongong, 120km south of Sydney. A series of mystery cases, the source of which can’t be determined, continue to worry health authorities also.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant says the cluster in Croydon is expected to get bigger in the coming days.

Ms Berejiklian pleaded for anyone in the state with even the mildest of symptoms to come forward for testing in a bid to get on top of the outbreak.

"We don't want New Year's Eve to be the cause of a super-spreader event,"  the Premier said.

From midnight tonight, household gatherings have been reduced to a maximum of five guests in greater Sydney, as well as Wollongong, the Central Coast and the Blue Mountains.

The maximum size of outdoor gatherings is now 30 people, down from 50.

"It only takes one person in a family gathering to give it to everybody else in the family."

The changes are "until further notice".

NSW will also restrict people from greater Sydney from visiting aged care facilities until 11.59pm on January 6.

"Until we further understand the community transmission across broader Sydney, we are taking a very precautionary approach to aged care visitors," Dr Chant said.

"Obviously there are exceptions in those extenuating circumstances.

"We understand the impact that this has, but at the moment until we understand the full scope of transmission, we do not want to inadvertently have any introductions into our aged care facilities.

"There are no restrictions on people from regional New South Wales visiting residents in regional facilities."

Meanwhile, Dr Chant is saying the third Test will go ahead at the SCG with 50 per cent capacity, saying additional safety measures are in place.

"Seating outdoors poses less risk than people perhaps gathering in households to look at the Test... we have got faith in the transport plan, and the work that the Sydney Cricket Ground has done, but we are looking over the plans as we speak to ensure that we can strengthen all elements," she said.