Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced this morning that the planned easing of restrictions on hospitality venues will be put on hold following a new coronavirus outbreak in Sydney.
NSW has recorded 13 new cases in the past 24 hours, 11 of which were locally acquired. Nine of those 11 cases have been linked to a cluster that stemmed from a Lakemba GP clinic.
The government was considering easing the four-square-metre rule at cafes, allowing group bookings of more than 10, and increasing the number of guests allowed at weddings.
However, growing concern over the increased cases – and low overall test numbers – means those changes are on pause for now.
“I cannot stress enough that this is the most concerned we’ve been since that first incident when the Victorian citizen came up, infected his colleagues and went for a drink at a hotel,” said Berejiklian, referring to the Crossroads Hotel outbreak in July.
“If we get advice to say that [Chief Health Officer] Doctor [Kerry] Chant is satisfied we can make those announcements we’re intending to do, we will. But I want to make very clear we’re holding off because we are concerned with where we’re up to.”
The postponement of those plans comes after yesterday’s announcement that outdoor-dining capacities double from Friday and outdoor concerts will be permitted with up to 500 seated guests.
The NSW government is urging residents to get tested, with Berejiklian saying she’d like to see at least 20,000 Covid-19 tests per day.