Sydney split, thousands still in lockdown for Christmas

 

The majority of restrictions currently in place across Greater Sydney will remain in force over Christmas, with a few changes to be implemented. 

On the 24th, 25th and 26th people in Greater Sydney can have 10 people into their homes with children under 12 not counted in the number.

On December 27 the restrictions will revert back to just 10 visitors to each household.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian also announced that people in the northern part of the northern beaches will remain in lockdown.

However, they will be allowed to have five visitors between the 24th and 25th of December if those visitors reside within the same boundary.

"If you're a resident of the northern part of the northern beaches, if you live north of the Narrabeen Bridge and east of the Bahai Temple at Mona Vale roads, you cannot leave your area. You are still in lockdown," Ms Berejiklian said.

"You can't accept anybody were outside your community and I apologise for that but we have to maintain a lockdown in that area."

The announcement around restrictions come as NSW recorded just eight new local coronavirus cases on Wednesday.

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Gladys lashes QR code 'stupidity'

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has blasted residents that aren't taking the state's QR code sign in system seriously, warning they are putting others at risk with their "stupidity".

Venues across NSW are required to have a QR code sign in system to assist with contact tracing by keeping a list of patrons.

Ms Berejiklian revealed some customers were using fake names to sign in, meaning authorities wouldn't be able to track them if they were identified as a close contact of a confirmed coronavirus case.

The premier warned they were now seeing venues slacking off by not ensuring customers had signed in correctly.

"I made some comments a few days ago about some of the stupidity we're seeing with people using dopey names bike Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse," she said.

"But one of the issues around the QR codes that is very concerning, is
that facilities… across parts of Sydney and indeed across NSW, is that the proprietors of the businesses are not necessarily being as careful in ensuring those who come into their business actually do fulfil filling out the QR code."

Ms Berejiklian said before anyone is served in a cafe or restaurant it should be checked that they have signed in.

"They need to remind people visiting their restaurant or cafe that you need to fill out the QR code," she said.

"That's a certain flippancy that some businesses deal with this. Putting a sticker on the table and expecting people to remember that is just not on in the middle of a pandemic."

 

Qantas staff member infected

A Qantas staff member has contracted COVID-19 after returning to NSW from overseas.

The member flew into Sydney via Darwin from an international location.

Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said the new had just come through and more information was expected to be released in the coming hours.

Qantas Logo on Aircraft Tail, Ministro Pistarini Airport, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Qantas Logo on Aircraft Tail, Ministro Pistarini Airport, Buenos Aires, Argentina

"The person has flown on a domestic flight. There were a number of precautions in place but there will be a limited number of people on the flight," she said.

"That was a Qantas flight departing Darwin to Sydney on 18 December.

"This news has just come through so we don't have the flight details and any other details, but we wanted to advise you of that."

 

140,000 residents asked to get tested

Resident's living in NSW's Central Coast have been asked to go and get tested for COVID-19 if they develop even the mildest of symptoms.

The call comes after NSW's sewage surveillance system detected traces of coronavirus in the Gosford area.

The sewerage system includes the suburbs of Niagara Park, Narara, Lisarow, Wyoming, West Gosford, North Gosford, Somersby, Kariong, Point Clare, Tascott, Koolewong, Springfield, Erina, Terrigal, Wamberal, Forresters Beach, North Avoca, Avoca Beach, Copacabana, Macmasters Beach, Bouddi, Green Point, Yattalunga, Kincumber, Kincumber South, Bensville, Saratoga, Davistown, Empire Bay, St Huberts Island, Daleys Point, Killcare, Killcare Heights, Hardys Bay, Pretty Beach and Wagstaffe, in which around 140,000 people reside.

"We are aware that there is a COVID-positive case in the Central Coast as well as a case from Western Sydney who visited Avoca whilst infectious last weekend so there is an explanation for this but we want to take a cautious approach," Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said.

"Please be on high alert and get tested if you've got the most minimal of symptoms."

 

Southern part of northern beaches to ease restrictions

Restrictions will ease slightly for residents in the southern part of the northern beaches.

People in the southern zone, such as Manly or Dee Why, will be allowed to have 10 visitors in their home from December 24 to 26, but they are not allowed to leave the area.

"You can have other people come in from the region or other parts of Greater Sydney," the Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

"But you can't leave. We don't want people from the northern beaches mingling in other parts of Sydney at this stage but you can welcome people in."

She said people in the southern part of the northern beaches will still essentially be restricted to the four reasons they can leave home.

Ms Berejiklian said all parts of the northern beaches and Greater Sydney will revert back to the current restrictions on December 27.

 

Part of northern beaches to remain in lockdown


Part of the northern part of the northern beaches will remain in lockdown over the next few days, with a new boundary to be implemented in the area.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there were two distinct parts of the northern beaches, with the northern part of the area labelled the "epicentre" of the COVID-19 cluster.

"So there will be now a new boundary at the Narrabeen Bridge, which locals… would know is an obvious location and the western boundary is the Bahai Temple, which to locals is distinguishable boundary," Ms Berejiklian said.

"If you're a resident of the northern part of the northern beaches, if you live north of the Narrabeen Bridge and east of the Bahai Temple at Mona Vale roads, you cannot leave your area. You are still in lockdown.

"You can't accept anybody were outside your community and I apologise for that but we have to maintain a lockdown in that area."

Ms Berejiklian said there would be a small easing of the restrictions in this area on the 24th, 25th and 26th of December, with residents allowed to have five people into their home on these dates.

However, those people must be from within that same region.

"So if you live in Avalon, you can have five people into your home, but they must be residents north of the Narrabeen Bridge and east of the Bahai Temple at Mona Vale Road," the premier said.

"So for the people of the northern part of the northern beaches, you cannot, unfortunately, move outside of your community, outside of that boundary. You cannot accept anybody were outside that boundary into your boundary but you can accept five people from within that community."

People in the northern part of the northern beaches will revert back to the current stay at home orders on the 27th of December.

 

Restrictions to remain in place with some changes


Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that the majority of restrictions in place across Greater Sydney will remain in place, with a few changes to be implemented.

On the 24th, 25th and 26th people in Greater Sydney can have 10 people into their homes with children under 12 not counted in the number.

"So 10 adults and kids under 12 would be allowed in any single household," Ms Berejiklian said.

"Can I stress, you cannot have different groups of 10 people during the day. It's one group of 10 and you have to stick that group of 10, plus kids under 12.

"So please make sure that it's only one group to your house in Greater Sydney. You can't mix groups. You can't have different rosters, having one-half of the family in the morning and the other half in the evening. Not possible. On any given day, you have to have the same group of 10 plus kids and that's the difference."

On December 27 the restrictions will revert back to just 10 visitors to each household, including children under 12.

Ms Berejiklian said "every other restriction" will remain in place over the Christmas period.

 

 

Eight new local cases in NSW


NSW has recorded eight new cases of community transmission in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

Just under 42,000 people turned out to be tested yesterday, which Premier Gladys Berejiklian called an "unbelievably high number".

 

Gladys' plan to hit back at border closures

NSW may refuse to accept interstate residents returning from overseas for hotel quarantine, as anger grows in the government at other states for hastily slamming their borders shut over the northern beaches outbreak.

Every state and territory has now implemented varying levels of restrictions on NSW residents, throwing travel plans into chaos for millions of Australians days before Christmas and prompting outrage from Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Tuesday flagged the possibility of forcing other states to take their own residents for hotel quarantine, amid frustration in the government that NSW bears the brunt of the risk.

"We'll have plenty of notice, we'll know who's coming in and we could organise a commercial or charter flight," Mr Barilaro told The Australian.

"They don't want to pay but they want to lecture us … they're not the ones carrying the heavy burden."

The Premier on Tuesday slammed her counterparts for causing "suffering" to NSW residents, and raised the hotel quarantine issue.

"We know the infection rates are going up overseas," she told reporters.

"We don't stand here and tell you how many were Queenslanders or Victorians. I do feel NSW has done more than its fair share and I ask other states to do the same and I look forward to other states stepping up."

 

Confusion as people told to pay for COVID results


NSW Health has issued a warning to the thousands of Australians waiting on COVID-19 test results after some residents were told they had to pay to confirm their results.

People have been receiving text messages from a number claiming to be NSW Health and asking for donations in order to confirm whether they had tested positive to the virus.

The health organisation has warned people this is a scam and they would never ask for donations in exchange for a person's results.



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