Northern Beaches resident in lockdown breach

 

The race to save Christmas from COVID-19 is on with less than 24 hours until a decision is made on whether to extend or lift a lockdown on Northern Beaches residents.

There were 15 new locally-acquired coronavirus cases reported in NSW and Premier Gladys Berejiklian is expected to give another update at 11am AEDT.

Follow the latest news and information below:

 

POLICE PROBE NORTHERN BEACHES LOCKDOWN BREACH

Police are investigating a COVID restrictions breach after a Northern Beaches local visited a leisure centre on the state's south coast.

The local from the COVID-stricken LGA, which is in lockdown until December 23, visited Ulladulla Leisure Centre three hours south of Sydney at 4pm on Monday, according to a statement from Shoalhaven City Council.

The statement revealed council staff "identified" they were from the Northern Beaches and had recently been back home before quickly shutting the centre down.

 

Northern Beaches residents attend a drive thru pop up covid testing clinic at Newport Beach. Picture: Jeremy Piper
Northern Beaches residents attend a drive thru pop up covid testing clinic at Newport Beach. Picture: Jeremy Piper

 

"Council staff directed the patron to leave the Council-premise immediately … as a precautionary measure, Council will close the Ulladulla Leisure Centre," the statement read.

The current Public Health Order means Northern Beaches locals must follow the restrictions if they have visited their home area since December 10, regardless of if they are currently there or not.

It is not yet known why the resident was in Ulladulla but police sources confirmed they were investigating further.

 

Northern Beaches residents attend a drive thru pop up covid testing clinic at Newport Beach. Picture: Jeremy Piper
Northern Beaches residents attend a drive thru pop up covid testing clinic at Newport Beach. Picture: Jeremy Piper

 

Shoalhaven and surrounds have since been added to the Public Health Order for Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong, meaning residents should now avoid visiting aged care facilities until midnight on December 23, get tested if they have symptoms and wear a mask in any indoor public areas.

 

NEW QUARANTINE TESTS FOR AIRCREWS

Airline crew members who live in NSW and arrive in the country after working on an international flight will be swabbed for coronavirus before being allowed to self-isolate in their own homes.

Interstate crew will also be ­allowed to travel straight home on specially-arranged transport if they get a COVID-19 test on arrival in Sydney.

The changes are part of a strengthened quarantine regimen for flight crew that will come into effect on Tuesday.

Qantas crew and travellers from Sydney have their permits checked in the Qantas terminal. Picture: Ian Currie
Qantas crew and travellers from Sydney have their permits checked in the Qantas terminal. Picture: Ian Currie

 

The new rules will require international staff go into specific police-run quarantine hotels rather than a hotel of their airline's choosing.

The changes were put in place after an international flight crew was fined for breaching self-­isolation guidelines.

There have been at least two incidents of aircrew breaching isolation identified.

A Virgin Australia crew arrives in Sydney. Picture: Christian Gilles
A Virgin Australia crew arrives in Sydney. Picture: Christian Gilles

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said everyone returning from overseas should be treated as if they had COVID-19.

But she said protocols for returning crew needed to balance competing factors including the mental health of airline staff.

"What we also need to understand is that flight crew are often isolated forever," she said.

 

AGED CARE HOMES TOLD TO STAY CLOSED

The Avalon COVID cluster could see aged care home residents across Greater Sydney told to stay home for Christmas unless current restrictions are relaxed.

A NSW Health spokeswoman yesterday confirmed that under the current rules, "residents of aged care facilities are advised not to leave their facility for social visits to see friends and family".

It came after chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant told aged care homes in Greater Sydney not to welcome any visitors until Wednesday.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has advised nursing homes to stay closed to vistitors for at least 24 hours. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has advised nursing homes to stay closed to vistitors for at least 24 hours. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

The advice preventing visitors attending retirement homes and residents leaving will be reassessed by the state government on Wednesday.

Under the current rules, people from Greater Sydney should also avoid visiting disability services or vulnerable people unless it is critical.

 

SYDNEY SHELVES STRIPPED AS PANIC SPREADS

Coles bosses insist Sydneysiders have not yet began to panic buy despite evidence of it on the locked-down northern beaches.

Photos taken during the weekend at Woolworths in the Northern Beaches suburb of Belrose shows aisles largely depleted of rice, pasta and meat.

Woolworths customers have been urged by its chief executive not to panic buy. Picture: Monique Harmer
Woolworths customers have been urged by its chief executive not to panic buy. Picture: Monique Harmer

However, Coles chief operating officer Matt Swindells said so far Sydney residents had remained calm.

Mr Swindells confirmed Coles would make staff wear masks from today but only encouraging customers to do so, following recommendations by NSW Health that people wear masks in indoor spaces.

Coles has seen increased demands on toilet paper as Sydney’s northern beaches COVID-19 cluster grows. Picture: Monique Harmer
Coles has seen increased demands on toilet paper as Sydney’s northern beaches COVID-19 cluster grows. Picture: Monique Harmer

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci yesterday warned against panic buying in an email to customers.

"Shops will remain open with extra hygiene measures in place. Customers are asked to wear masks in the northern beaches area and people are being asked to only buy what you need, he said.

Originally published as Northern Beaches resident in lockdown breach



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