Countdown to freedom in Sydney as ZERO new coronavirus cases are found yet again – with a much-hated restriction set to end within hours
- String of coronavirus restrictions in NSW will be lifted from 12.01am Monday
- Wearing of masks no longer compulsory on public transport and indoor settings
- Drinking while standing, dancing and groups singing indoors is allowed again
Wearing face masks will no longer be compulsory on public transport from midnight on Sunday with restrictions set to ease thanks to the city’s potential outbreak being contained.
Private gatherings at home will no longer be restricted to 20 people indoors, which was brought in after a couple in Sydney’s eastern suburbs tested positive last week.
It is still not known how patient zero, dubbed ‘BBQ Man’, caught the virus, with officials having spent the last week searching for the missing link between him and infected travellers in hotel quarantine – the only way Covid-19 typically enters Australia.
But with no new cases for over a week, officials are allowing the easing to go ahead, regardless of the fact the missing link between infections hasn’t been traced.
Drinking while standing at indoor venues, group singing indoors, and dancing at nightclubs will also be allowed from 12.01am Monday.
More than 12,200 tests were conducted on Saturday with three overseas-acquired cases recorded in hotel quarantine.
Masks will no longer be compulsory on public transport across Greater Sydney from 12.01am Monday (pictured, a commuter at Sydney’s Central Station on May 6)
NSW Health continues to strongly encourage the wearing of masks on public transport and in other settings where physical distancing is not possible.
Temporary restrictions were enforced across the Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Illawarra regions on May 6 after ‘BBQ Man’ passed the virus onto his wife and potentially put thousands of Sydneysiders at risk by visiting a host of venues across the city while unknowingly infected.
The infected eastern suburbs resident travelled across the city on May 1 and May 2, visiting four separate BBQ stores over the space of a few hours.
Restrictions will be eased after no further locally-acquired transmission was recorded from thousands of tests in the last week.
But health officials have admitted how the man became infected remains a mystery.
Revellers will again have the option of standing instead of sitting while drinking at venues. Pictured are revellers at a Sydney bar
Nightclub revellers can return to the dancefloor from 12.01am Monday. Pictured is a packed dance party before the pandemic hit in 2020
‘Despite extensive, ongoing investigations into the source of the two eastern suburbs cases, NSW Health has not yet identified how the initial case was exposed to the virus,’ NSW Health’s Dr Natalie Klees said.
‘As these two cases have shown, Covid-19 may re-emerge at any time, so it is important that we all continue to take practical measures to stay COVID-safe.’
Weddings were spared from the recent restrictions, with up to 20 guests were allowed on the dance floor.
Residents are urged to continue scanning QR codes when checking in to and out of venues, staying home and getting tested for Covid-19 if unwell, and practising good hand hygiene.
Hospitality workers will no be required to wear masks from Monday. Pictured is a waitress serving diners at Yama Gardens in Darlinghurst
People arriving into NSW from Greater Melbourne are reminded they must complete a declaration form that confirms they have not attended a venue of concern after a Melbourne man tested positive several days after he left hotel quarantine in South Australia and travelled across the city while infectious.
NSW currently has 75 active cases, including a patient in intensive care on a ventilator.
Almost 920,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to date in NSW, including jabs overseen by state and federal governments.
RESTRICTIONS ENDING FROM 12.01AM MONDAY
*Masks no longer mandatory on public transport and indoor public settings
*Masks no longer compulsory for customer-facing staff in hospitality venues
*Private gatherings at home will no longer be restricted to 20 people indoors.
*Drinking while standing at indoor venues will be permitted again
*Group singing indoors, and dancing at nightclubs will also be allowed