To protect the people of NSW from the evolving Avalon COVID-19 outbreak, new restrictions will be introduced for Greater Sydney from tonight (11:59pm, Sunday 20 December 2020).
Following updated health advice from the Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant about the growing risk to the community, the following restrictions will tonight be introduced for the greater metropolitan Sydney region:
- Household gatherings will be limited to 10 visitors (until 11:59pm 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 at indoor venues will not be allowed.
- Dancefloors will not be permitted, except for weddings, when a maximum of 20 from the bridal party will be permitted.
People in the Greater Sydney area and the Central Coast, Illawarra-Shoalhaven, and Nepean Blue Mountains (see list of suburbs affected), are also asked not to visit aged care facilities until 11:59pm on Wednesday 23 December, unless it is critical.
Up to 8pm last night, 36 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, 30 of which were locally acquired.
These restrictions are designed to reduce the risk of further community transmission.
‘Stay at home’ orders for residents in the Northern Beaches Local Government area will also continue until 11:59pm on Wednesday 23 December.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the government then intends to provide further clear advice for the community ahead of Christmas.
“We realise the effect this will have on residents and venues, and hope to lift the cap and restrictions as soon as possible,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“But we must take this action now to ensure we keep on top of this outbreak.”
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant urged the community to play their part in controlling the COVID spread, by getting tested if symptoms develop, by practising physical distancing and good hand hygiene, and by wearing a mask, particularly indoors.
“If these steps are not taken, we may see a rise in further cases,” Dr Chant said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the restrictions were a proportional and appropriate response to the threat.
“I want to thank everyone in the community for their patience and resilience. We are in the midst of a one-in-100 year pandemic and we are not out of the woods yet,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Now more than ever it is imperative that people continue to come forward for testing until we get this cluster under control.”
The government and health experts will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide updated information and advice.