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Greater Sydney's Current Gathering Restrictions and Dancing Ban Will Lift Tomorrow

No further community-acquired COVID-19 cases have been identified.
By Sarah Ward
May 16, 2021
By Sarah Ward
May 16, 2021

After two locally acquired cases of COVID-19 popped up in Sydney in early May, the New South Wales Government reimplemented a number of restrictions in the Greater Sydney region. Then, when the direct link between the cases and hotel quarantine couldn't be identified, it extended the new rules until 12.01am on Monday, May 17.

When tomorrow morning hits, the current restrictions will indeed end — as confirmed today, Sunday, May 16, by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. So, after a couple of weekends of smaller at-home gatherings, not being able to sing and dance indoors, having to sit down to drink and wearing masks in a number of situations, the rules in Sydney, the Central Coast, Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and Illawarra will revert to what was in place when May began.

If you need a refresher, that means that that at-home gathering caps will lift again — but if you're having more than 100 people over to your house, you will need to have a COVID-19 safety plan in place and record visitor details electronically.

If you're most excited about being able to make shapes again, dance floors are back once more. All restrictions on singing will ease, too — and drinking while standing up will also return.

And, masks will no longer be mandatory on public transport, or for customer-facing employees working in hospitality venues. They'll move to being strongly recommended instead. If you can't guarantee social distancing elsewhere, you're also advised to wear them.

NSW Health hasn't yet identified how the recent community cases were exposed to COVID-19, but the NSW Government is happy to lift restrictions because there has been further transmission related to the cases.

That said, Sydneysiders are asked to continue to keep an eye on NSW Health's long list of locations and venues that positive coronavirus cases have visited — and, in terms of symptoms, to look out for coughs, fever, sore or scratchy throat, shortness of breath, or loss of smell or taste, then get tested at a clinic if you have any.

The usual hygiene recommendations still apply, too, including washing your hands, social distancing and staying home if you feel unwell.

For more information about the status of COVID-19 in NSW, head to the NSW Health website.

Top image: Parker Blain.

Published on May 16, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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