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Masks Will Be Compulsory on Public Transport and in Indoor Venues Across Sydney for Another Week

Greater Sydney's mask mandate is being extended, and will now apply throughout the entire region.
By Sarah Ward
June 22, 2021
By Sarah Ward
June 22, 2021

After first being identified on Wednesday, June 16, Sydney's current cluster of COVID-19 cases keeps growing. Five new local cases were reported to 8pm yesterday, Monday, June 21, and a further seven have been diagnosed since last night's cutoff. In response, the New South Wales Government has announced that it is extending the current mask mandate — so Sydneysiders will need to keep donning face coverings for another week.

In a press conference today, Tuesday, June 22, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian advised that folks in the entire Greater Sydney area — excluding the Central Coast and the Hunter Valley region — will need to keep wearing masks until 12.01am, on Thursday, July 1. At present, face masks are already compulsory on public transport across Greater Sydney, as well as indoors in public settings in seven local government areas in Sydney (City of Sydney, Inner West, Randwick, Bayside, Canada Bay, Waverley and Woollahra); however, from 12.01am this Thursday, June 24, all of these requirements will apply citywide.

So, if you live or work in Greater Sydney — or visit — you'll need to wear a mask inside in hospitality venues, shops and any indoor situation where you aren't eating or drinking, as well as on public transport. Basically, unless you're at home, you'll need to mask up indoors. "It is only when you are eating or drinking indoors at a venue that you can't or shouldn't wear a mask," said the Premier. "In every other circumstance, if you live or are in Sydney, you must wear a mask for another week beyond Wednesday midnight."

Back on Sunday, when the mask rules were last updated — to require mandatory masks indoors in seven Sydney LGAs — the Premier noted that the government was happy with that level of settings at the time, but would expand the rules if needed. Accordingly, after case numbers have been growing over the past two days, that's exactly what's happening.

If you're wondering if more restrictions might be in store in the near future, Premier Berejiklian advised that the state will follow "the health advice." Asked specifically today if a lockdown might come into effect, she said that "at this stage, because all but one case is linked to an existing case and that case was only discovered a few hours ago, that gives us a degree of confidence that what we have asked people to do matches the risk that is there at the moment. If that changes, if we suddenly have a number of unlinked cases and if we suddenly have them outside the geographic region they are concentrated in, that will obviously adjust the health advice and we will respond to that."

As it always does, NSW Health has been updating the COVID-19 venues of concern list, and will continue to do so as more places keep being identified. 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 22, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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