Last night, various media outlets reported that NSW pubs would face tighter restrictions following Covid-19 outbreaks at Casula’s Crossroads Hotel, after a patron at The Star tested positive for the virus and photos showing a lack of social distancing at eastern suburbs pub the Golden Sheaf came out last week.
This morning Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed that larger venues will have their capacities capped at 300 and group bookings will be wound back from 20 to 10. Additionally, venues that have capacity for 250 people or more must have a full-time marshall, while all venues must have a designated Covid-19 monitor during peak times. Registration upon entry to venues will be compulsory, not optional.
“Life is not normal, it will not be normal until we have a vaccine or a cure,” said Berejiklian.
She also said we should not expect to ever reach zero cases. “The geographic proximity of our states, the fact that there were some challenges with quarantine, potentially going back some months, means that ... there’s been a level of community transmission in New South Wales for some time, which is why we are on extra-high alert.”
The new rules will come into effect this week, and pubs have until midnight Thursday to download a Covid-Safe Plan in compliance with the most recent requirements, and register with Services NSW. The restrictions will apply only to pubs, and not include casinos, despite a patron at The Star testing positive. The casino has since been fined $5000 for not adhering to social-distancing rules.
Queensland has also announced this morning that two local government areas of Sydney – Liverpool and Campbelltown – will be declared “hotspots”. This means that if residents of these areas enter Queensland, they will face 14 days quarantine. This comes after 21 people who have visited the Crossroads Hotel in Sydney’s south-west have tested positive for Covid-19, and the pub has been temporarily closed.
South Australia has also announced that it will not open its borders to NSW, which was slated to take place next week.
Australia today reached a milestone of 10,000 cases since the first case in January, and 13 cases have been diagnosed today, 10 of which are linked to Crossroads Hotel. This brings the number of cases linked to the Crossroads Hotel on July 3 to 28.
More information to come.