Large Mother’s Day gatherings will be banned and masks made mandatory indoors after another local case of Covid-19 was found in Sydney.
Health officials are racing to uncover how a husband and wife in Sydney’s eastern suburbs mysteriously tested positive to the Indian strain of the virus having ruled out the ‘usual routes of transmission’.
NSW linked his infection to a returned traveller from the US but it is not known how they came into contact with the husband – whose case was found on Wednesday.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced a series of restrictions for Sydney and surrounds from 5pm on Thursday until midnight on Monday morning.
Daily Mail Australia has compiled a list of all the restrictions that will affect residents in Australia’s largest city and the Illawarra, Central Coast, and the Blue Mountains.
Diners at a bar in Sydney on February 12. Patrons must sit down when drinking in bars and pubs from 5pm on Thursday
Visitors in the home
Sydneysiders celebrating Mother’s Day this Sunday will be limited to 20 visitors in the guests in the home, including children.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said those planning Mother’s Day celebrations should lean towards ‘outdoor environments’.
‘If you’re taking your mother outdoors in cafes and restaurants, and also gardens and other environments outdoors,’ she said.
‘But clearly we want to make sure that we have the minimum impact on aged care residents but keep them safe.
‘So again, the people taking them out would still be required to wear masks and take all of those measures.’
Masks mandatory in indoor venues and public transport
Masks will be compulsory on public transport and in all public indoor venues, Ms Berejiklian said on Thursday.
Those indoor venues include retail, theatres, hospitals, and aged care facilities. Front-of-house hospitality staff must wear masks, but not patrons.
Ms Berejiklian said police would issue fines from 5pm even to office workers who did not have the chance to go home and pick up their mask.
Staff are seen wearing face masks at the candy bar of the Randwick Ritz. Masks are now compulsory in all public indoor venues
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday. She has announced a series of restrictions for the Greater Sydney region from 5pm until midnight on Monday morning
‘We appreciate that for some people they will have to go out of their way and get a mask,’ she said.
‘Most workplaces have them. Most shops have them, it’s pretty accessible. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. I think people will work it out.’
Singing and dancing banned once again
Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs under the new rules.
The practice is though allowed at weddings with a strong recommendation that no more than 20 people should be on the dancefloor at any one time.
Singing at indoor shows and in indoor places of worship is also not allowed.
Racegoers party sitting down after the last race during Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney in March. Dancing on the dancefloor is once again banned under the new rules
No stand-up drinking in bars and pubs
Patrons must sit down when drinking in bars and pubs from 5pm on Thursday, barely a month after Ms Berejiklian told them they could stand up again at indoor venues.
‘As an extra precaution over the next three days if you are going to a bar get your drink, but sit down instead of mingling to prevent any potential transmission,’ the premier said.
‘We know when we do give advice people adopt a common sense approach – that people respect that.’
Standing up at bars and pubs was only allowed again on March 17, as promised during a round of restriction-easing in late February.
Patrons pictured at a Sydney restaurant. Standing up at indoor venues was only allowed again on March 17
Visitors limited to aged care facilities
From 5pm, visitors to aged care facilities will be limited to two people.
‘It means mask wearing [for visitors] especially to protect the most vulnerable. We believe this is a proportionate response to the risk we have ahead of us,’ Ms Berejiklian said.