Face Masks Are Now Compulsory in Public Indoor Spaces in Seven Sydney Local Government Areas
You'll need to wear them inside in hospitality venues, shops and any other indoor situation where you aren't eating or drinking.
As part of the New South Wales Government's response to Sydney's current cluster of COVID-19 cases, face masks became compulsory on public transport across Greater Sydney on Friday, June 18, with the new requirement presently in place until 12.01am on Thursday, June 24. Since then, more cases have been identified, so New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has today, Sunday, June 20, announced that the mask mandate is expanding.
The requirement to wear masks will be extended in two ways. Firstly, the public transport rule will expand beyond Greater Sydney and the Blue Mountains, where it is currently in effect, and will now apply to the Wollongong and Shellharbour areas. Secondly, people in seven local government areas in Sydney will now need to wear masks indoors in public settings — with the latter coming into effect immediately.
The LGAs covered: City of Sydney, Inner West, Randwick, Bayside, Canada Bay, Waverley and Woollahra. So, if you live, work in or visit those areas, you'll need to wear a mask inside in hospitality venues, shops and any indoor situation where you aren't eating or drinking. Basically, unless you're at home, you'll need to mask up indoors. "It applies to all indoor venues, excluding when you're eating and drinking — so if you're going shopping, to the cinema, sitting at a conference, any place where you can't guarantee social distancing proximity with others," the Premier said
Premier Berejiklian also noted that the indoor requirement "will apply effective immediately"; however, compliance won't be enforced until 4pm today. For now, the mandate will apply for the same time as the public transport mask rule — so until 12.01am on Thursday, June 24.
Sydneysiders elsewhere are still encouraged to don a mask when they are indoors in public — even though it isn't being made compulsory anywhere outside of the seven named LGAs. "At this stage, we didn't want to make the decision to have compulsory indoor mask-wearing across all Greater Sydney, but if the situation changes overnight, that is an option we will have to consider," the Premier said.
If you're wondering if more restrictions might be in store, Premier Berejiklian advised that "what we've asked people to do today is as far as we will go, but I will say that if cases continue to emerge in the community, we will need to consider going further — but I hope that isn't the case."
Overnight, NSW reported two new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, with 44 cases — both local and overseas-acquired — currently being treated in the state.
And, 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 20, 2021 by Sarah Ward