NSW bans travel outside of Sydney
Non-essential travel outside of Sydney has been banned and masks made mandatory everywhere including workplaces as the state grapples with a surge in Covid-19 cases.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the sweeping new restrictions on Wednesday as the state's coronavirus outbreak spreads.
Ms Berejiklian said people who live or work in the seven affected local government areas "cannot travel outside Sydney" unless they are "visiting a relative in care or have to go to work".
"So unless it is essential travel, you should not be going outside metropolitan Sydney for the next week, and we apologise in advance that this impacts some people's ability to travel during the school holidays," she said.
The announcement came after it was revealed NSW had recorded 16 new Covid-19 cases overnight, bringing the Bondi cluster to 37 infections.
"If you live or work in any of those impacted LGA's we don't want you moving outside of metropolitan Sydney unless four essential purposes," Ms Berejiklian explained.
"Obviously work, visiting and ill relative or essential purposes [are exempt]. If you happen to come outside of the city into those LGAs, we recommend you don't in the next week.
"We're not saying you cannot leave your home for any reason in metropolitan Sydney, you can. We are not putting any objections on you leaving the home for any purpose, but if you happen to live or work in those seven LGA is, we don't want you moving outside of Sydney. "We don't want spreading to our regions. We don't want spreading to holiday destinations within New South Wales, at regional New South Wales in particular. And I think the vast majority of the public understand that."
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said in addition to the travel restrictions now in place, the following restrictions will be introduced for Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour:
- Visitors to households will be limited to 5 guests - including children;
- Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events;
- Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed;
- Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed;
- Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs however, dancing is allowed at weddings for the bridal party only (no more than 20 people);
- Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn);
- The one person per four square metre rule will be reintroduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals;
- Outdoor seated events will be limited to 50% seated capacity;
- Previous public transport capacity limits, represented by green dots, will be reintroduced;
- If you live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra local government areas, you cannot travel outside metropolitan Sydney for non-essential travel.
Where is Greater Sydney and Sydney Metro?
The boundaries of the 'Sydney metro area' are defined as the Hawkesbury/Nepean River in the north/north west, and then the outer boundaries of the City of Penrith, Camden Council, the City of Campbelltown and Sutherland Shire.
Greater Sydney stretches from the Hawkesbury to the Northern Beaches regions in the north, to the Blue Mountains in the west, and the Wollondilly, Campbelltown and Sutherland regions in the south.
How have state borders reacted?
The sweeping changed come as state leaders quickly snap borders shut in response to the growing cluster.
Victoria, Queensland, South Australia have all tightened rules on Sydney travellers from Covid-affected areas.
On Wednesday morning, Queensland joined Victoria and South Australia to slap new restrictions on travellers coming from certain areas of Sydney.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced her state will close its borders to a number of local government areas in Sydney after their Bondi cluster nearly doubled on Tuesday.
From 1am on Friday, Queenslanders returning home from City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra will have to go into a mandatory 14 days of hotel quarantine.
Residents of those local government areas will not be able to enter Queensland unless they have an exemption.
Ms Palaszczuk said Queensland can't afford to have Covid-19 infiltrate the state as further restrictions will ease on Friday, and has urged Queenslanders to reconsider any travel to Greater Sydney.
Victoria's chief health officer Brett Sutton said in a late night update on Tuesday that seven local government areas in NSW are now "red zones" under the state's travel permit system, effective 1.00am Wednesday.
Originally published as NSW bans travel outside of Sydney