NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned pubs, restaurants and patrons will “have the book thrown at them” if they do not comply with new restrictions coming into effect on Friday.
With another 16 new coronavirus cases confirmed on Wednesday, Ms Berejiklian has urged residents to limit their activities, especially over the weekend, and to avoid crowds or small indoor gatherings where the deadly virus spreads easily.
Three of the new infections are close contacts of the Crossroads Hotel cluster and 11 are contacts of the Thai Rock outbreak at Wetherill Park.
A total of 53 people have been linked to Crossroads and 37 associated with the restaurant.
The state’s Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said efforts to trace the outbreaks had transformed her work whiteboard into a “spiderweb”.
“I think that is the issue. What we are trying to do is stop the chains of transmission and simplify the spiderweb, and the best way we can do that is by detecting the outbreak at the earliest possible time,” she said.
New coronavirus restrictions on clubs, restaurants
On Friday, funerals and religious gatherings in NSW will from July 24 have a limit of 100 people while weddings and corporate events will be capped at 150 people.
No dancing, singing or mingling will be permitted at weddings.
Previously-announced restrictions on pubs and hotels – including a cap of 300 people, mandatory sign-ins and maximum group bookings of 10 people – will also be extended to all NSW hospitality venues, such as clubs and restaurants.
The 20-person limit for private indoor and outdoor gatherings remains in place for now but NSW Health has encouraged residents to keep gatherings below 10 people.
“I am still not seeing the level of compliance I want to see from patrons and also from the businesses themselves,” Ms Berejiklian said on Wednesday.
“But that will change on Friday. Any business that doesn't do the right thing, will have the book thrown at them.”
The NSW premier said the state is facing a critical next few weeks as it battles to trace outbreaks that health officials say are a similar strain to that seen in Victoria – which recorded more than 400 cases on Wednesday.
“The next few weeks are the most critical in NSW since the lockdown earlier in March and April,” she said.
“This is the most critical time for our state.
“We are not out of the woods by any stretch, quite the opposite.”
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