Millions could enjoy HUGE easing of coronavirus restrictions in time for Australia Day as Gladys Berejiklian hints at major changes and NSW records zero new cases yet again
- NSW reported zero locally-acquired Covid cases for third day on Wednesday
- Premier Gladys Berijiklian indicated restrictions could be eased in next few days
- Under Sydney’s current rules large backyard Australia Day gatherings banned
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has hinted the consecutive days of zero cases could see restrictions eased for millions of Sydney residents in time for Australia Day.
Sydney’s current restrictions include a maximum of five people allowed in homes and no more than 30 at outdoor gatherings in public areas. Funerals and weddings are limited to 100 people under the 4sq m rule.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks during an Australia Day Address at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on January 18, 2021 in Sydney
Sydney’s restrictions on gatherings in private homes could be eased ahead of Australia Day with the number currently capped at five (pictured: friends in Melbourne in October)
Ms Berejiklian said senior ministers were ‘definitely in a space of wanting to ease restrictions’ as they headed into a cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning.
However, she did indicate there was on caveat – that testing numbers increase.
‘For us to ease restrictions we need to have confidence that we haven’t missed any strains of the virus undetected in the community,’ she said.
Testing numbers have been hovering around 10,000 a day which Ms Berejiklian wants to see doubled.
She also again flagged her ongoing dispute with her counterparts in other states regarding border closures.
A cafe worker wearing a mask (pictured) in Manly on January 3, 2021 in Sydney as the hygiene items were made compulsory across the city
Under Sydney’s current rules weddings are limited to 100 people (pictured: a ceremony is held with the wedding party wearing masks covering their mouths in Victoria in October)
‘Is the current risk worthy of having border closures? No. But is it worthy of maintaining our restrictions in relation to those high-risk activities, those indoor venues and mask wearing? Yes.’
Western Australia is maintaining a closed border with NSW.
Queensland and Victoria require a permit for NSW residents to travel to each state – with the exception of Greater Sydney for Queensland and certain council areas in Sydney for Victoria – who are not eligible for a permit.
A person is tested at a coronavirus drive-through testing facility at Bondi Beach in Sydney on January 19, 2021
COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR NEW SOUTH WALES:
- Western Australia – All NSW residents are banned from entering WA. Anyone who enters the state will be ‘sent back’, according to Premier Mark McGowan. In reality, all arrivals from NSW must have a special exemption and then have to quarantine for 14 days, either at home or in a hotel.
- Victoria – Regional NSW was declared an ‘orange zone’ on January 11, and locals will be allowed into Victoria from 6pm with a permit. On January 18, Greater Sydney was also deemed an orange zone. People from ten Sydney LGAs, including Blacktown and Liverpool, which are deemed red zones are still banned.
- Northern Territory – The state has declared greater metropolitan Sydney as a Covid-19 hotspot, and travellers will need to undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine.
- South Australia – Harder border closure to all NSW residents from midnight on New Year’s Eve. Returning South Australians must quarantine for 14 days. A 100km border buffer zone, including Broken Hill and Wentworth, will be exempt.
- Queensland – Queensland has shut its borders to Greater Sydney, Wollongong and the Central Coast. Locals returning to the Sunshine State from a hotspot must isolate.
- ACT – Anyone travelling to the ACT from a Covid-19 hotspot in NSW will now require an exemption. People from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Greater Sydney, the Central Coast and Wollongong will not be legally permitted to enter the ACT without a valid pass from midday on Saturday January 2.
- Tasmania – Northern Beaches residents banned. All people from Greater Sydney must also quarantine upon entry.