The northern beaches cluster has bloomed to 68 cases and thousands of people have fled NSW seeking sanctuary in other states before the borders snap shut.
Scores of venues across Sydney have been flagged as high-risk, with new restrictions imposed on the Greater Sydney and Central Coast areas, such as banning Christmas caroling, singing or chanting.
Leading epidemiologist Professor Raina MacIntyre from the University of NSW warned that without a short, sharp lockdown the state could suffer up to 3000 coronavirus infections by early January.
Christmas and New Year celebrations teeter on a knife-edge in the Harbour City with new restrictions announced Sunday after 36 new cases were found in NSW – 30 of them locally transmitted.
Here’s the latest on the pandemic in Australia.
Thousands queue at Sydney Airport, trying to get out of NSW on Sunday before borders shut
Thousands of travellers packed into terminal queues at Sydney airport on Sunday, with many desperate to travel interstate before border restrictions come into play
Long queues wait patiently for coronavirus testing at Bondi Beach on Sunday
* NSW recorded 30 new locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday, with 28 linked to the cluster on Sydney’s northern beaches, bringing the total for that cluster to 68.
* Two more cases under investigation brings the NSW known coronavirus cases to 70 as of 8pm on Saturday.
* NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned the state’s residents to put on face-masks when going to indoor settings such as shopping centres, public transport or office blocks
* Sydney’s northern beaches remain under lockdown orders to midnight Wednesday.
A warning was issued for venues in Cronulla including the RSL (pictured) and Cronulla Mall
Scenes of panic buying reminiscent of the first wave in March have swept across Sydney’s Northern Beaches supermarkets. Pictured: stripped shelves on the Northern Beaches
* Northern beaches residents stay-at-home orders are the same as those imposed in March at the height of the pandemic crisis. People are permitted to leave their homes for five basic reasons: to seek medical care, exercise, grocery shop, work or for compassionate care reasons.
* New restrictions will apply until midnight Wednesday for the greater Sydney region, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Illawarra-Shoalhaven.
* No more than 10 people are allowed at household gatherings and patrons will need to maintain a four-square-metre distancing at venues.
* Up to 300 people will be permitted at places of worship and hospitality venues, while singing and chanting at indoor venues is banned, and dance floors will only be allowed at weddings.
* Christmas caroling is therefore banned indoors.
* Restrictions on the Sydney region, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Illawarra-Shoalhaven, remain in place until 11.59pm Wednesday.
* NSW residents have been urged to avoid visiting any vulnerable friends, relatives or aged-care facilities until Christmas Eve.
* The Boxing Day Sydney to Hobart yacht race has been cancelled for the first time in its 76-year history.
The Northern Beaches of Sydney is now subject to the same strict lockdown conditions as in March and may only leave home for five essential reasons. Pictured on Sunday
Deserted North Sydney parking on Sunday evening. Normally, North Sydney is teeming
* An urgent health alert has been issued for 18 more venues across Sydney, including a string of popular pubs and restaurants in Manly.
* A health alert has been issued for passengers on scores of public transport routes across Sydney.
* Sydney’s northern beaches remain the epicentre, but NSW Health’s new list of cases on Sunday showed the virus had spread further with cases in Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Ku-ring-gai and North Sydney.
* There are public health alerts for various northern beaches venues and businesses in Avalon, Belrose, Brookvale, Dee Why, Mona Vale, Narrabeen, Newport, North Narrabeen and Palm Beach.
* Warnings for locations in Artarmon, Bondi Junction, Cronulla, Darling Point, Erskineville, Eveleigh, Homebush, Kirribilli, Lane Cove, Newtown, Peakhurst, Penrith, St Peters, Riverstone, Rosebury, Surry Hills, Terry HIlls, Turramurra and Woolloomooloo.
* Central Coast towns of Forster and Raymond Terrace are also on the warning list.
Cronulla Mall (pictured) was visited by a confirmed COVID case on Tuesday 15 December between 8pm and 9pm and Wednesday 16 December between 3pm and 6pm
BORDER CLOSURE RULES
* Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says anyone who has been in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Illawarra-Shoalhaven since 11 December will not be allowed into the Sunshine State without an exemption. From 1am Monday Greater Sydney has been declared a ‘hotspot’.
* If an exemption is granted they will be ordered into 14-day quarantine on arrival in Queensland from 1am on Monday.
* Queenslanders in the NSW capital have been given until 1am Tuesday to get home, but they will need to be tested for COVID-19 and go into self-isolation on arrival.
* Queensland will introduce road checkpoints to enforce the rules.
* Victoria will ban people travelling from Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and NSW Central Coast from entering the state from midnight Sunday after Premier Daniel Andrews declared the entire region a ‘red zone’. If they do enter, they will have to do 14 days of hotel quarantine.
* The one exception is returning Victorians, who have until midnight on Monday to return. Those Victorians who return before then can do their quarantine at home.
* South Australia is also closing its border to greater Sydney from midnight Sunday and checkpoints will be set up to test people for COVID-19 at the NSW road border crossings and at Adelaide Airport.
* All people from greater Sydney will have to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival in SA, while all northern beaches residents will be turned away.
* Tasmania’s health authorities have designated the Northern Beaches Local Government Area a high-risk region, barring any travellers who have passed through there since 11 December from entering Tasmania unless they are an essential traveller.
* Greater Sydney has been declared a ‘medium risk’ as of midnight on Sunday. Anyone from this area must quarantine for 14 days on entry to Tasmania.
A warning has been issued for Avalon Beach RSL Club (pictured)
* Anyone already in Tasmania who was in the area from 11 December is asked to self-isolate immediately and get tested.
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
* Travellers to the ACT from Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Illawarra-Shoalhaven and Nepean-Blue Mountains had until midnight on Sunday to enter without compulsory 14-day quarantine orders took effect.
* Non-ACT residents who have been in any of these places have been told not to enter the ACT.
* ACT Health will not consider exemption requests from non-residents coming from these regions, except in extreme circumstances.
* The restrictions are likely to continue over Christmas and into the New Year.
The Northern Territory shut its border to Greater Sydney travellers on Sunday afternoon.
People from Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and the Illawarra must go into 14-day quarantine on arrival in the NT.
The border is now shut to New South Wales indefinitely. Only those with special exemptions will be allowed in.
From midnight on Saturday, the NSW’s ‘low risk’ rating was upgraded to ‘medium risk’, meaning that it would reinstate the same strict measures seen earlier in the year.
AUSTRALIAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:
* There were 44 new cases recorded in Australia on Sunday: 36 in NSW, three in South Australia (all in hotel quarantine), two in Victoria (both in hotel quarantine), two in Queensland (both in hotel quarantine) and one in the ACT (in hotel quarantine).
* The national death toll is 908: Victoria 820, NSW 55, 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 76,736,413
* Deaths: at least 1,694,217
* Recovered: at least 53,863,336.
Data current as of 12.48am AEDT December 21, taking in federal and state/territory government updates and Worldometers global coronavirus statistics.
TRANSPORT HEALTH ALERT
Anyone who travelled on these bus routes at the time and date listed is a close contact and must get tested and isolate for 14 days regardless of the result.
Route B1-1, Monday 14 December Departing Warriewood BLine, Pittwater Rd 6:55am, arriving Wynyard Station, York Street Stand M, 7:50am
Route B1-2, Monday 14 December Departing Wynyard Station Stand B 5:45pm, arriving Warriewood BLine, Pittwater Rd, 6:40pm
Route B1-1, Tuesday 15 December Departing Warriewood BLine, Pittwater Rd 6:35am, arriving Wynyard Station Stand M, 7:35am
Route B1-2, Tuesday 15 December, Departing Wynyard Station Stand B 5:25pm, arriving Warriewood BLine, Pittwater Rd, 6:20pm
Route B1-1, Wednesday 16 December 2020, Departing Warriewood BLine 6:50am, Pittwater Rd, arriving Wynyard Station Stand M, 7:35am
Route B1-2, Wednesday 16 December 2020, Departing Wynyard Station Stand B 4:45pm, arriving Warriewood BLine, Pittwater Rd, 5:30pm
Passengers on these routes are considered casual contacts and should test and isolate until a negative result is achieved
• Bus Route 199, Saturday 12 December, departing Newport Hotel, Kalinya Street, 7am arriving Avalon Beach, 7.15am
• Bus Route 199, Saturday 12 December, departing Avalon Beach 12.20am, arriving Newport Hotel, Kalinya Street, 12.45am
If you travelled on these public transport routes during the time and date indicated you should get tested immediately and self-isolate until you receive a negative result, continue to watch for COVID-19 symptoms and if any symptoms occur, get tested again.
Artarmon to Wynyard, Monday 14 December, 8:27am to 8:49am
Roseville to Redfern, Monday 14 December, 6:50am to 7:40am
Redfern to Milsons Point, Monday 14 December, 11:20am to 11:45am
Milsons Point to Roseville, Monday 14 December, 3:15pm to 3:40pm
Wynyard to Artarmon, Monday 14 December, 6:42pm to 7:01pm
Artarmon to Wynyard, Tuesday 15 December, 9:17am to 9:38am
St James to Erskineville, Tuesday 15 December, 6:34pm to 6:48pm
Erskineville to Central, Wednesday 16 December, 7:03am to 7:12am
NSW Health also advised anyone who was at the Steyne Hotel between 3pm and 3:30pm on Saturday 12 December, to get tested and isolate at home
New venues on a public health alert – announced Sunday evening
Anyone who was at the following venues on the dates and at the times below is considered a close contact and should get tested immediately and self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result:
Manly Skiff Club, Corner of East Esplanade and Stuart Street, Manly: Saturday 12 December, 12pm – 2.30pm
Donny’s Bar, 7 Market Place, Manly: Saturday 12 December, 3:15pm – 9pm
Old Manly Boat Shed, 40 The Corso, Manly: Saturday 12 December, 9pm – 12:30am
Rusti Fig, 3/363 Barrenjoey Road, Newport: Saturday 12 December, 9am – 10:30am
Café Junior, Woolworths Neutral Bay Village, 1-7 Rangers Road, Neutral Bay: Sunday 13 December, 12:45pm – 2.30pm
BoThai, 16 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest: Sunday 13 December, 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Pearly Nails, 2/6 Waratah Street, Mona Vale: Monday 14 December, 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Salon X, 86 William Street, Paddington: Wednesday 16 December, 9am – 6pm and Thursday 17 December, 9am – 8pm
Mona Vale Golf Club (bar and function room), 3 Golf Avenue, Mona Vale: Wednesday 16 December, 5pm – 10pm
Garfish Seafood Restaurant, 39 East Esplanade, Manly: Thursday 17 December, 6:45pm – 8:30pm
Anyone who attended the following venues on the dates and times below is considered a casual contact and should get tested immediately and isolate until they receive a negative result:
Woolworths, Riverwood Plaza, 247 Belmore Road, Riverwood: Wednesday 9 December, 3pm – 3:35pm
Nourished Wholefood Café, 17 Avalon Parade, Avalon Beach: Saturday 12 December, 7.15am-7.30am
Manly Wharf Bar, East Esplanade, Manly: Saturday 12 December, 2:45pm – 3:15pm
The Steyne Hotel, 75 The Corso, Manly: Saturday 12 December, 3pm – 3:30pm
Cronulla Mall, 6 Cronulla Street Cronulla: Tuesday 15 December, 8pm – 9pm and Wednesday 16 December, 3pm – 6pm
Navy Bear Café, RAN Sailing Association, 1C New Beach Rd, Darling Point: Sunday 13 December, 10.30am – 4.45pm
Restaurant Lovat, G04/316-324 Barrenjoey Rd, Newport: Saturday 12 December 2:15pm – 2:25pm and 4pm – 4:15pm
Mona Vale Golf Club, 3 Golf Avenue, Mona Vale: Wednesday 16 December, 11am – 5pm
Anytime Fitness, 7 Taronga Place, Mona Vale, on Thursday 17 December between 9.50am and 12.45pm
G Fitness, 72/80 Evans Street, Freshwater, on Tuesday 15 December between 11am and 12.45pm
4 Pines, 313 Barrenjoey Rd, Newport, on Wednesday 16 December between 4.30pm-9pm
Twenty-One Espresso, 21 Knox Street, Double Bay: Any staff working on Tuesday 15 December, and patrons seated in the indoor section on that day for more than 1 hour between 7.10pm and 8.15pm and 8.25pm and 9.10pm.
Shoppers who attended Woolworths at Riverwood Plaza in Sydney’s south on Wednesday December 9 between 3pm 3:35pm should get tested immediately and isolate
Anyone who visited Manly Wharf Bar (pictured) on Saturday December 12 between 2:45pm and 3:15pm should get tested immediately and isolate until they receive a negative result
Previous list of Sydney hotspots
Anyone who has visited the following venues on the stated dates and times should get tested immediately and isolate for 14 days regardless of symptoms.
Avalon: Anytime Fitness, Avalon Parade
Tuesday 8 December
Monday 23 November to Monday 7 December
Avalon: Avalon RSL Club
Friday 11 December All day until closed
Monday 14 December 5pm to 10:30pm
Tuesday 15 December12pm to 5pm
Wednesday 16 December4pm to 12am (midnight)
Avalon Beach: Avalon Bowlo (bowling club), 4 Bowling Green Lane
Sunday 13 December 5pm to 7pm
Tuesday 15 December 3pm to 5pm
Avalon Beach: Bangkok Sidewalk Restaurant
Monday 14 December 7pm to 8pm
Avalon Beach: Barramee Thai Massage and Spa
Monday 14 December 2pm to 3:30pm
Avalon Beach: Oceana Traders – Seafood Merchants
Monday 14 December
Tuesday 15 December
Wednesday 16 December
Thursday 17 December
Avalon Beach: Sneaky Grind Café
Monday 14 December 9:30am to 11am
Avalon Beach: Sunset Diner
Friday 11 December 6:30pm to 8pm
Cronulla: Cronulla RSL
Wednesday 16 December 5pm to closing
Cronulla: Pilgrims Vegetarian Café
Wednesday 16 December 11:30am to 2:30pm
Erskineville: Rose of Australia
Tuesday 15 December 7pm to 8:45pm
Forster: Café Toscano (outdoor verandah area)
Wednesday 16 December 6pm to 7:45pm
Kirribilli: Kirribilli Club
Monday 14 December 12pm to 3pm
Lane Cove: Hair by Erika, Village Shopping Centre
Friday 11 December 3:30pm to 5pm
Mona Vale: Fitness First Mona Vale, Pittwater Place Shopping Centre
Sunday 13 December 2pm to 4pm
Monday 14 December 10:30am to 12:30pm
Wednesday 16 December 8:30am to 10am
Narrabeen: The Sands
Tuesday 15 December 6pm to 8pm
Newport: 4 Pines Newport
Tuesday 15 December 6pm to 10pm
Newport: Rusti Fig
Saturday 12 December 9am to 10am
Palm Beach: Palm Beach female change rooms
Sunday 13 December 9am to 9:15am
Palm Beach: Coast Palm Beach Café
Sunday 13 December 10am to 11am
Penrith: Penrith RSL Club
Sunday 13 December 1pm to 6pm
St Peters: Sydney Trapeze School
Tuesday 15 December 10am to 12pm
Surry Hills: Nomad Restaurant
Wednesday 16 December 12:45pm to 2pm
Surry Hills: Strawberry Hills Hotel
Wednesday 16 December 3:30pm to 6pm
Turramurra: Salon of Hair
Tuesday 15 December 10am to 3pm
Wednesday 16 December 9:30am to 3:30pm
Thursday 17 December 9:30am to 3:30pm
Friday 18 December 9:30am to 3:30pm
Woolloomooloo: Sienna Marina
Friday 11 December 12pm to 2pm