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Greater Sydney's Dancing Ban and Gathering Restrictions Have Been Extended Until May 17

The link between the recent community-acquired cases and hotel quarantine hasn't yet been identified, so the New South Wales Government is keeping its current rules in place for another week.
By Sarah Ward
May 09, 2021
By Sarah Ward
May 09, 2021

When two locally acquired cases of COVID-19 were identified in Sydney late last week, involving a man in his 50s and his wife, the New South Wales Government reimplemented a number of restrictions in the Greater Sydney region. In effect since 5pm, Thursday, May 6, the current rules regarding at-home gatherings, singing and dancing indoors, standing up to have a drink and wearing masks were due to end at 12.01am tomorrow, Monday, May 10 — however, they'll now remain in place for another week.

Announced this morning, Sunday, May 9, by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, the restrictions continue to apply to the Greater Sydney area, which includes the Central Coast, Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and the region down to Illawarra. They'll now be extended until 12.01am on Monday, May 17.

If you need a refresher, a 20-person cap is in place for gatherings in homes in Greater Sydney — and that includes children. Outside of the house, drinking while standing up is no longer allowed at pubs, clubs, restaurants and the like, and neither is dancing or singing at indoor venues. At weddings, dance floors can still operate, but they can only accommodate 20 people at once.

Masks will continue to be mandatory in some situations, but the rules are being tweaked slightly there. They're no longer required in retail or hospitality situations — unless you're a customer-facing staff member, or you're in the gaming area. Covering your face remains compulsory on public transport, though, and at public indoor venues such as theatres, hospitals and aged care facilities.

The restrictions are being kept back in place after the two new NSW cases occurred in people who haven't been overseas recently, and don't work in hotel quarantine, border or health roles. Last week, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said that the sequence from the new case matches a case in a returned overseas traveller, but NSW Health hasn't been able to directly connect the two people as yet. That remains the same today, which is why restrictions are being extended. In a tweet, Premier Berejiklian explained that "as the 'missing link' case hasn't been identified, we're keen to prevent a super-spreading event".

Sydneysiders are also asked to continue to frequently check NSW Health's long list of locations and venues that positive coronavirus cases have visited over the past week — and, if you've been to anywhere listed on the specific dates and times, to follow the instructions regarding testing and self-isolating.

In terms of symptoms, you should be looking out for coughs, fever, sore or scratchy throat, shortness of breath, or loss of smell or taste — and getting tested at a clinic if you have any.

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

Published on May 09, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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