Dancing Bans and At-Home Gathering Restrictions Have Been Announced for Greater Sydney
The rules come into effect at 5pm tonight — but if you're able to adopt them earlier, you're asked to.
Two locally acquired cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Sydney, involving a man in his 50s and his wife — and, as a result, the New South Wales Government is bringing back a number of restrictions in the Greater Sydney region. Come 5pm today, Thursday, May 6, Sydneysiders will need to scale back their at-home gatherings, and also wear masks in indoor settings. In addition, singing and dancing indoors will be off the cards again.
Announced this morning by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, the changes only apply to the Greater Sydney area, which includes the Central Coast, Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and the region down to Illawarra. The new rules will be in effect until 12am on Monday, May 10 morning, too — and the Premier has advised that anyone who can adopt the new restrictions before 5pm today should do so.
Within homes in Greater Sydney, only 20 people will be allowed, including children. "We know that transmission in the family home is a high risk," said Premier Berejiklian. She continued: "I appreciate that it's Mother's Day, but we also appreciate that 20 people within the home is manageable for people to celebrate that important day."
Outside of the house, masks will be mandatory again in all indoor spaces. That includes public transport, supermarkets, retail stores, theatres and any indoor events. It also applies to workers in the hospitality industry — so, while no space, capacity or patron restrictions are being implemented in cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars as part of these new changes, folks will need to wear masks in hospitality venues for the next three days.
And, if you're having a beverage in a bar, you're being asked to sit down. So yes, vertical drinking at pubs, clubs, restaurants and the like has been scrapped again, too. Plus, although dancing has only been back on the cards since late March, it'll be banned in indoor venues once again until Monday. Singing will be as well. At weddings, dance floors will still be able to operate, but they'll only be able to accommodate 20 people at once.
Premier Berejiklian said that the NSW Government isn't asking people to change their weekend plans. "Enjoy Mother's Day. Do what you would normally do. This is the opposite approach. We're saying to businesses to keep doors open," she advised.
The restrictions are being put 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. 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. "What we're concerned about is that there is a missing link — that there is someone, because there is no direct contact that we've been able to establish yet, between the cases," Dr Chant noted.
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, get tested immediately and self-isolate for 14 days after your visit.
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 06, 2021 by Sarah Ward