New South Wales Residents Are Urged to Avoid Non-Essential Travel and Gatherings

Community transmission in venues such as hotels, restaurants and gyms, and at social gatherings, is "of particular concern".
Sarah Ward and Samantha Teague
Published on July 19, 2020

As COVID-19 cases in New South Wales continue to increase — including those via community transmission, and those linked to the Crossroads Hotel cluster in Casula — the NSW Government has asked the state's residents to avoid leaving the house for non-essential reasons.

In the daily coronavirus update on Sunday, July 19, NSW Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Jeremy McAnulty advised that "people are urged to avoid non-essential travel and gatherings". Announcing 18 new cases diagnosed in total in the past 24 hours, he also noted that community transmission in venues such as hotels, restaurants and gyms, and at social gatherings, is "of particular concern".

The government's current advice asks NSW residents to stay at home if you have any symptoms, except to get tested — and to get tested even if you have "the mildest of symptoms". It also requests that everyone continues the social-distancing requirements that have been in place for months now: staying 1.5-metres away from other people at all times, refraining from going to crowded areas, washing your hands regularly with soap and running water or an alcohol-based hand rub, and coughing and sneezing into your elbow. And, in situations where you are unable to social distance, NSW residents should consider wearing masks.

Dr McAnulty also stressed that no one should host or attend gatherings of more than ten people at home, even though the present restrictions allow 20 people — or go to the gym unless the equipment has been thoroughly cleaned before and after you use it either by supervising staff or yourself, and the machines and customers are well-spaced.


The strengthened advice comes just days after NSW announced tightened restrictions for pubs and hotels from Friday, July 17, and for indoor gatherings from Friday, July 24 — all in a bid to contain the virus. In "all indoor hospitality venues", group bookings will now reduced from 20 to ten, and large venues will be capped at 300 people (compared to the previous one person per four-square-metre rule). Stricter rules around the collection of patron's contact details are also now in place, and COVIDSafe Plans and a COVIDSafe Hygiene Marshalls are mandatory.

Weddings and corporate events will also be limited to 150, and funerals and places of worship 100. Everyone must be seated and there must be "no dancing, no singing, no mingling".

From 12.01 am on Monday, July 20, NSW is also capping overseas arrivals in Sydney at 350 passengers per day. "Our number one priority is the health and safety of the people of NSW, and this new cap will help us protect our state from COVID-19," said Premier Gladys Berejiklian. "It is important that passengers returning home do not overrun the capacity of NSW Health and hotel quarantine."

For more information about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and to download a COVIDSafe Plan, head to the NSW Government website.

Published on July 19, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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