A Covid alert has been issued for a popular barbershop in Sydney’s northern beaches, just hours after the premier admitted restrictions likely won’t be relaxed this week.
Anyone who visited the Groomsmen Barbershop at Warriewood Square on January 6 between 11.30am and 12pm must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received.
Gladys Berejiklian said on Tuesday said coronavirus restrictions in Greater Sydney will stay in place for at least another week, as the state recorded five new local cases.
Masks were made mandatory and home gatherings were limited to five visitors after an outbreak on the Northern Beaches of Sydney was identified on December 16 and another cluster emerged in western Sydney on December 29.
Anyone who visited the Groomsmen Barbershop at Warriewood Square on January 6 between 11.30am and 12pm must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received
New South Wales has recorded five new local cases of coronavirus as Gladys Berejiklian warns the disease is ‘bubbling away in the community’
Asked if any rules would be relaxed this week, the premier said: ‘Unlikely given where we’re at, because we’re still mopping up.
‘We’re still seeing community transmission. Even though in most instances, the household contacts or people are already in isolation, but we have had a couple of examples where they’re still unlinked, and that’s always a concern.’
She added: ‘I doubt there will be an easing of restrictions. But if the health advice changes on that, we will, of course, do that.’
Of the five new local cases on Tuesday, one case is linked to western Sydney’s Berala cluster and is a close contact of a previously reported case.
Two cases, from the Northern Beaches, are household contacts of each other and the source of their infections is under investigation.
A man in his 40s who went to Mount Druitt Hospital’s Emergency Department on Saturday and his close household contact have also tested positive, with the source of their infections under investigation.
The hospital was closed for cleaning on Monday morning and has now re-opened.
Eleven cases were also recorded in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
There were only 14,738 tests reported to 8pm on Monday night, compared with the previous day’s total of 18,570, prompting calls for residents to get tested in greater numbers.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard asked multicultural families in Sydney to stick to the rules on family gatherings, which are capped at five visitors to homes.
‘I call on community leaders in western Sydney to make sure that the various multicultural communities, our wonderful multicultural communities that make up this fabulous nation, get the message to their communities to stick to the limits at the moment, listen to the public health advice,’ he said.
What are the coronavirus rules in Greater Sydney?
Visitors: Up to 5 visitors from any number of households may visit another on any day.
Gatherings: No more than 30 people can gather outside in a public place which includes public parks, reserves, beaches, public gardens and spaces.
Masks: Compulsory in public indoors
Venues: A maximum of 300 people, subject to the 1 person per 4 square metres rule applies for each separate area of a hospitality venue.
Singing: No more than five performers should sing indoors, with 1.5m between performers and 5m between performers and the audience.
Gyms: Indoor gyms are subject to the one person per 4 square metres rule. A maximum of 30 people per class applies to gym and recreation classes such as yoga, tai chi and pilates.
Sport: For community sporting activities that involve more than 100 participants, the organiser must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan. The maximum number of participants at a community sporting activity must not exceed 3000 participants, or one person per 2 square metres (whichever is less).
Source: NSW government
‘I know it’s great to have large families around but it’s proved challenging in the last few weeks,’ he added.
Ms Berejiklian hit back at Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan after he called for greater restrictions in NSW by saying: ‘The idea that you tick along with the virus and somehow that is a better model is wrong.’
The premier said elimination was not possible because Australians have to be allowed to return from overseas where the disease is rampant.
‘Anyone who thinks we’re going to eliminate or eradicate this disease, unfortunately doesn’t appreciate what the pandemic means,’ she said.
Digital signs encourage customers to wear face masks at Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney
She also criticised Mr McGowan for shutting his state’s borders to any jurisdiction that suffers just one Covid-19 case.
‘I don’t believe keeping your borders closed and inflicting pain and suffering on thousands of people is the way to go,’ she said.
‘In New South Wales, we want our citizens to live as freely as possible, to maintain their livelihoods as much as possible. But in a Covid-safe way. And that’s always been our objective.’
Ms Berejiklian said she was disappointed that Mr McGowan didn’t seem to appreciate that NSW has accepted about half of all arrivals from overseas since March.
‘I think that no doubt each state premier has their views of the world. We don’t all agree on everything, which is fine. But I think respect goes a long way,’ she said.
‘And I think just appreciating what New South Wales has done on behalf of Australia in terms in returning 100,000 travellers is a big deal. That’s why overnight, we had 11 cases in quarantine,’ she said.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro hit back even harder on Tuesday morning, telling Mr McGowan to ‘stop lecturing’.
‘For Mark McGowan, it’s easy. He puts up the borders in Western Australia, cuts off the rest of the nation,’ he told 2GB radio.
In Tuesday’s press briefing, Ms Berejiklian hit back at Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan (pictured)
‘We’ve had Covid deaths in this nation but we’re going to have more deaths from mental health from people locked away in isolation, people not being able to reunite with family and [that’s what] Mark McGowan stands for.
‘I’m happy to say that this morning and have a go straight back at him. Stop lecturing, look after your own backyard.’
Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who is filling in while Scott Morrison is on a week of leave, also said Mr McGowan has an easier job than other premiers.
‘Western Australia and NSW are very different states. Look at the NSW border, for instance, there are 57 bridges and openings across to Victoria. The Tweed River area with Queensland is just a massive economic area.
‘Western Australia doesn’t have anything like that, so it’s easier for Western Australia to shut its borders and keep them shut tight.’
LATEST COVID-19 DEVELOPMENTS
* NSW recorded five new local COVID-19 cases, including four which are yet to be linked to known clusters.
* The cases, and 11 more in hotel quarantine, came from fewer than 15,000 tests, causing concern for officials over falling rates of testing.
* Queensland’s chief health officer has warned the highly infectious UK variant of coronavirus is still a risk in Greater Brisbane.
* No new local cases have been reported in Queensland since Monday night when the partner of a quarantine hotel cleaner was confirmed to have COVID-19.
* Masks are mandatory in supermarkets, shops, indoor markets, places of worship, libraries, gyms and indoor recreational facilities such as cinemas and art galleries in Brisbane until January 22 and in Sydney until further notice.
* Victoria has already issued more than 31,000 permits to enter the state since launching its new traffic-light system.
* Under the system, regional NSW is ‘orange’, meaning stranded Victorians can come home if they apply for a permit and get tested for COVID-19 with 72 hours of their return, but greater Sydney and Brisbane remain ‘red’ zones.
* The permit application website wasn’t available until 8.55pm on Monday – nearly three hours after the new system came into effect, leading to apologies from the Andrews government.
* Travellers arriving without a permit face a $4957 fine.
* Victoria recorded no new local or interstate-acquired coronavirus cases for the sixth day in a row, after receiving 18,139 test results.
* A western Sydney man will face court in February charged with destroying property after allegedly going on a tirade in a McDonald’s when asked to sign-in for contact tracing.
* The Northern Territory and ACT are welcoming more Sydneysiders after narrowing its restrictions to cover only particular locations including Parramatta, the Inner West and Blacktown.
* The NSW and West Australian premiers are in a spat over national cabinet’s COVID-19 suppression strategy after Mark McGowan had claimed NSW was the only state trying to suppress and not eliminate the virus.
* His NSW counterpart Gladys Berejiklian says anyone thinking elimination is possible ‘unfortunately doesn’t appreciate what the pandemic means’.
* She said zero community transmission was the goal, particularly while overseas Australians continue to return home.
* Passenger numbers have been halved on three repatriation flights for Australians stranded overseas, after three states halved arrivals to reduce exposure to the highly contagious UK strain of coronavirus.
AUSTRALIAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:
* There were 19 new virus cases recorded in Australia on Tuesday: 16 in NSW, two in Queensland and one in WA. All but five in NSW were recorded in hotel quarantine.
* The national death toll is 909: Victoria 820, NSW 56, Tasmania 13, WA 9, Queensland 6, SA 4, ACT 3. (Two Queensland residents who died in NSW have been included in the official tolls of both states).
GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:
* Cases: at least 90,891,000
* Deaths: at least 1,944,750
* Recovered: at least 50,285,500
Data current as of 1730 AEDT on January 12.
Source: federal and state/territory government updates, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.