Face masks will be mandatory indoors and dancing will be banned across Greater Sydney this weekend after a husband and wife in Sydney’s eastern suburbs mysteriously tested positive to Covid.
The man’s test result, which was announced on Wednesday, sent shockwaves through the city because he had not returned from overseas, does not work in border control, health care or at a quarantine facility.
NSW Health have now traced his infection to a returned traveller from the U.S. who contracted an Indian variant of the virus – but it is not known how the pair came into contact with each other.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a host of new restrictions for the Greater Sydney region, including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains, on Thursday as she revealed the man’s wife has also contracted the virus.
The new restrictions come into effect at midday on Thursday, will be enforceable from 5pm, and will stay in place for the course of the weekend.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a host of new restrictions for the Greater Sydney region, including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains, on Thursday including mandatory face masks for the weekend
Residents will only allowed to host 20 people in their houses on Mother’s Day as part of the new rules and revellers will be forced to stay seated at the pub.
Dancing and singing will be banned, except at weddings where 20 people are allowed to gather on a dancefloor, and face masks will be mandatory indoors and for hospitality workers.
‘In relation to mask-wearing, mask-wearing at indoor places will be compulsory for the next three days,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘Public transport, if you go to the supermarket, any indoor event, will require compulsory mask wearing in addition to hospitality workers.
‘You can go and have a meal. You can enjoy a hospitality venue, but the workers will be expected to wear a mask for the next three days.’
Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant revealed the man’s Covid infection has been linked to a traveller who returned from the U.S – but they are still unsure how he contracted the virus.
‘Our new case matched with an overseas case, who had travelled from the US and went to the Park Royal at Darling Harbour,’ she said.
The person tested positive on day one of his quarantine stay and was moved to a health hotel on April 28.
Greater Sydney will be required to wear a face mask when indoors over the weekend following two new local Covid cases
NEW RESTRICTIONS FOR GREATER SYDNEY
- Visitors to households will be limited to 20 guests – including children;
- Masks will be compulsory on public transport and in all public indoor venues, such as retail, theatres, hospitals, aged care facilities and for front-of-house hospitality staff (except in a hospitality venue when eating or drinking);
- Drinking while standing up 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 with a strong recommendation that no more than 20 people should be on the dancefloor at any one time; and
- Visitors to aged care facilities will be limited to two people.
Dr Chant said health officials are reviewing CCTV footage to see how the returned traveller may have infected the man from Sydney’s east.
‘What we’re concerned about is that there is a missing link,’ she said.
‘We can’t find any direct link between our case, so what we’re concerned about is there is another person that is as yet unidentified that infected our case.’
Health authorities have also identified two new venues of concern as part of its ongoing investigations.
One of the Covid-positive cases dined at Fratelli Fresh in Westfield Sydney on Tuesday from 1.15pm to 2.15pm.
Bondi Trattoria on Campbell Parade has also been listed as a potential exposure site after it was attended by a case on Thursday, from 12.45pm to 1.30pm.
Pictured: A map showing the venues visited by Sydney’s two Covid cases
Revellers will be forced to stay seated at the pub this weekend following two Covid cases in Sydney
Anyone who attended the two venues at the times specified is asked to get tested and isolate until NSW Health provides further advice.
Ms Berejiklian was adamant it was ‘business as usual’ for the next three days in Greater Sydney.
‘But we are asking people just to take extra precautions if you have a looking for Mother’s Day, go to the booking, go to the restaurant if you have a family gathering at home, that’s great, but just limit it to 20 people,’ she said.
‘And if you are using public transport to go to a footy match or another event please wear a mask on public transport.
‘We know that at least one person has been going around Greater Sydney with the virus, we don’t know who they are, we don’t know who they’ve been in contact with, we don’t know where they’ve visited so as a precaution we’re just asking everybody to use their common sense, wear masks when shopping, wear masks if you’re in an indoor setting and just be safe.
Greater Sydney residents will be required to stay seated at the pub and hospitality workers will be ordered to wear face masks
Pictured: A woman in Sydney wearing a mask. Fourteen Sydney suburbs have been put on alert after an infected man in his 50s traversed the city
The premier said it is a ‘a very measured proportionate response’ to the risk.
Ms Berejiklian and Dr Chant on Wednesday said the infected man had a ‘high viral load’ and was potentially highly infectious while in the community.
He visited a busy Woolworths supermarket, several BBQ shops, a golf club, a cinema and many cafes and restaurants between Friday April 30 and Tuesday May 4.
‘Our job now is to get on top of it to identify any other potential cases, to identify the source and make sure we get on top of this case,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
There are now 19 ‘venues of concern’ across the city from Double Bay in the east, to Collaroy in the north, and Silverwater in the west.
Pictured: Security staff direct traffic as people arrive at the Bondi Covid-19 testing clinic on May 5 – hours after the shock new case was announced
SUBURBS WHERE COVID-19 FRAGMENTS WERE FOUND IN SEWAGE:
Dr Chant said the man had a higher viral load than typically seen in infected people, increasing the likelihood that he spread the disease to others.
More than 42,000 people in the inner west have also been put on high alert after virus fragments were found in wastewater from a sewage plant.
Affected suburbs include Marrickville Dulwich Hill, Summer Hill, Lewisham, Ashfield, Haberfield, Petersham, Lilyfield and Leichhardt.
NSW Health urged everyone in those areas to be especially vigilant in monitoring for symptoms, and if they appeared, to get tested and isolate immediately until a negative result is received.
The Covid-positive man visited a Bondi Junction cinema and several shops while infectious in what was described as a ‘very active’ weekend.
All customers of every business listed have been told to isolate immediately and seek urgent testing, including a busy Woolworths and Chemist Warehouse in Double Bay, a golf club in Rose Bay, and a series of cafes in Moore Park.
They must continue to isolate, regardless of their test results, until more information emerges.
Pictured: A nurse collects COVID-19 test samples at the Bondi drive-through testing clinic on May 5 – with testing numbers expected to soar in the coming days after the 19 venues were announced
The man dined at Figo Restaurant in Rushcutters Bay (pictured) from 8.45pm to 11pm on Friday
SYDNEY VENUES ON ALERT
Anyone who attended one of the following venues at the times specified is asked to immediately get tested and isolate until NSW Health provides further information.
Fratelli Fresh, Westfield Sydney
Tuesday April 27, 1.15pm – 2.15pm
Bondi Trattoria, 34 Campbell Parade
Thursday April 29, 12.45pm – 1.30pm
District Brasserie, 2 Chifley Square in Sydney
Friday April 30, 11am – 11:45am
HineSight Optometrist, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth – P2/61-101 Philip Street in Sydney
Friday April 30, 12pm – 1pm
Barbetta, 2 Elizabeth Street in Paddington
Friday April 30, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Event Cinemas Bondi Junction, screening of The Courier
Friday April 30, 6pm – 8pm
Figo Restaurant, 3/56-60A Bayswater Road in Rushcutters Bay
Friday April 30, 8.45pm – 11pm
Joe’s Barbeques & Heating, 142 Silverwater Road in Silverwater
Saturday May 1, 1pm –1.45pm
Tucker Barbecues, 138 Silverwater Road in Silverwater
Saturday May 1, 1pm – 1.45pm
Barbeques Galore, G1/212-220 Parramatta Road in Annandale
Saturday May 1, 2pm – 3pm
Barbeques Galore, The Crossroads, Unit 12B, Parkers Farm Place in Casula
Saturday May 1, 4pm – 5pm
BP Mascot, 1077 Botany Road in Mascot
Saturday May 1, 4.30pm – 5pm
The Meat Store, 262 Oxford Street in Bondi Junction
Sunday May 2, 3pm – 4pm
The Stadium Club, Moore Park – Entertainment Quarter, 122 Lang Road
Monday May 3, 11.30am – 12.30pm
Azure Cafe, Moore Park – Entertainment Quarter, Shop 5a
Monday May 3, 12.30pm – 1pm
The Royal Sydney Golf Club, Kent Road, Rose Bay
Monday May 3, 12.30pm – 1pm
Rug Cleaning Repairs Hand Rug Wash Sydney, 8/52-54 Sydenham Rd, Brookvale
Monday May 3, 12.30pm – 1pm
Alfresco Emporium, 2021 Pittwater Rd, Collaroy
Tuesday May 4, 1pm – 1.30pm
Smith Made, 14/28 Roseberry Street, Balgowlah
Tuesday May 4, 2.30pm – 4pm
Chemist Warehouse, 459-463 New South Head Road, Double Bay
Tuesday May 4, 3.45pm – 4pm
Woolworths, Kiaora Lane and Kiaora Road, Double Bay
Tuesday May 4, 4.05pm – 4.15pm