'Slap in the face': Backlash over surprise lockdown rule change

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NSW authorities have announced that weddings will soon be allowed despite the state breaking its own daily Covid case record on Saturday with 1,035 new infections.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said from 12.01am on Friday people can get married with up to five guests, in addition to people "obviously necessary for the actual service".

When asked if hairdressers and makeup artists would be allowed to help people get ready, Mr Hazzard said it was “an interesting question” but that they would not.

The announcement came as a surprise to many, with numerous people criticising the decision online.

A couple pose for a wedding photo during morning fog in Sydney, Tuesday, May 19. Source: AAP
From 12.01am on Friday NSW residents can get married with up to five guests. Source: AAP

“The weddings announcement is a cruel slap in the face to NSW contact tracers who probably haven't slept properly in months. Not to mention doctors and nurses who are burning out,” a man from Melbourne Tweeted.

“Are the NSW pressers getting more and more surreal or am I just entering a new phase of Covid fatigue? 1k cases, health system collapsing, picnics, weddings, missing stats, ignored regions, class warfare/inequity…” another person wrote.

“1,035 cases and you can now have weddings! Wonder what the reward is when NSW hit 2,000 a day?” a woman said.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard speaks to the media during a COVID-19 press conference in Sydney, Saturday. Source: AAP
When asked if hairdressers and makeup artists would be allowed to help people get ready, Mr Hazzard said they would not. Source: AAP

“Sadly NSW numbers of 1,035 with weddings allowed reminds me of the film Four Weddings and a Funeral,” another wrote.

Some residents backed the easing of the rule, citing family situations that require them to be married soon such as terminal illness.

Victoria hits out at NSW's growing Covid outbreak

During Victoria’s Covid presser on Saturday, the state’s Health Minister Martin Foley made a quip about its northern neighbour’s Delta outbreak.

The remark followed a journalist’s question about keeping Victorians in lockdown as NSW gives residents are given “signs of hope” by easing restrictions.

Members of the public exercise along Little Manly Beach in Sydney, Sunday. Source: AAP
The announcement came as a surprise to many, with numerous people criticising the decision online. Source: AAP
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"I’m not sure 1,000 cases a day is a sign of hope,” he said.

“I’m not sure hundreds and hundreds of people in hospital is a sign of hope, in a health system that is under strain — despite the protestations of federal ministers who would not frankly know what the situation of delivering a single service in a healthcare system is.”

“We are not going to put our health system in that level of stress and strain.”

There are currently 778 Covid-19 cases in NSW hospitals, with 125 in intensive care and 52 on ventilators.

With AAP

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