Face Masks Will Be Mandatory on Public Transport in Greater Sydney for the Next Five Days
They're also strongly recommended in in all indoor venues.
As part of the New South Wales Government's response to Sydney's latest cluster of COVID-19 cases, face masks will be compulsory on public transport across Greater Sydney for the next five days. The mandatory requirement will come into effect from 4pm today, Friday, June 18 and run until 12.01am on Thursday, June 24 — so if you've got a bus, train or tram ride in your upcoming plans, or any other type of trip via public transport, masking up is now in your future.
This time, though, the mask mandate only applies to Greater Sydney and the Blue Mountains — and not Central Coast, Illawarra or Wollongong. Announcing the news today, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the state is "sticking to the geographic definition".
Sydneysiders are also encouraged to don a mask when they are indoors in public — although unlike public transport, that isn't being made compulsory. "If you go to an indoor venue, you wear a mask — whether it is a cinema, hospitality or frontline hospitality workers," said the Premier. "It is not compulsory, but we are recommending that especially if you cannot guarantee social distancing, especially in those places around the eastern suburbs."
And, NSW Health is advising that folks should avoid non-essential visits to aged care and disability facilities for the next few days as well. If you are visiting, you're told to wear a mask — and to limit visits to two people per day.
The public transport mask mandate — and the request to wear masks indoors in public — comes after the Premier yesterday asked residents of the city's eastern suburbs avoid social gatherings for the time being. She reiterated that message in today's press conference, saying that "unless you absolutely have to, our strong preference is that you do not engage in any activity unless you absolutely have to — especially in those eastern communities, especially in proximity to those venues that have been identified."
Sydneysiders are also asked to "make sure that you are hand sanitising, you have good social distancing, that you are QR code checking" — messages that are being reinforced given that the current exposure sites list includes cinema sessions, cafes and supermarkets.
As it always does, NSW Health has been updating the COVID-19 venues of concern list, and will continue to do so. Anyone who has visited these venues during the times specified are required to get tested and self-isolate as per NSW Health's instructions.
To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in NSW, head to the NSW Health website.
Published on June 18, 2021 by Sarah Ward