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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced new Covid rules for Christmas for Sydney households.
In Greater Sydney, people will be able to celebrate Christmas with groups of up to 10 people plus children under the age of 12 allowed in a home on December 24, 25 and 26.
The Northern Beaches has now been split into two parts – for homes north of the Narrabeen bridge on the Northern Beaches, five people from that area will be allowed to be invited into homes. If you live in that northern part of the beaches you cannot leave the area.
The decision comes after NSW announced eight new Covid cases, seven of which are directly linked to Sydney’s Northern Beaches cluster.
“The eighth case is the one that was referred to yesterday, which was a direct contact of the person who worked in transporting people to hotel quarantine,” Ms Berejiklian.
A further eight cases in hotel quarantine were also reported on Wednesday and over 42,000 tests were conducted across NSW.
NSW Covid restrictions for Christmas
Ms Berejiklian promised “modest” changes to restrictions.
“They're modest tweaks and modest changes to account for the fact that everybody has had a very difficult year and some people's stress levels and mental health capacity is already at breaking point,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters.
The Northern Beaches has been split into two parts, people north of the Narrabeen Bridge and east of the Baha’i House of Worship on Mona Vale Road will not be able to leave the area, but have five people from the same region over for Christmas.
“If you're a resident of the northern part of the Northern Beaches, if you live north of the Narrabeen Bridge and east of the Baha’i Temple at Mona Vale Road, you cannot leave your area,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“You are still in lockdown. You can't accept anybody outside your community and I apologise for that but we have to maintain a lockdown in that area with one exception.”
South of the Narrabeen bridge, people will be able to have 10 people including children in their homes on December 24, 25 and 26. Those people are allowed to be from outside the area, however people in the southern part of the Northern Beaches are not allowed to leave.
"The less mobility there is, the less risk of the virus being transmitted throughout the community further," Ms Berejiklian told reporters.
Covid restrictions from December 27
On December 27, the restrictions for Greater Sydney will revert back to as they stand now.
“Come 27 December for Greater Sydney, we go back back to just 10 per household full stop,” she said.
The premier warned people could not have several groups of 10 people visiting throughout the day.
Ms Berejiklian said the reason behind geographically splitting the area was due to the fact the cases are mainly concentrated in the northern part of the area.
There are now 97 cases confirmed to be linked to the Avalon cluster.
No restrictions apply to regional NSW.
On Tuesday, NSW had reported eight new Covid cases, seven were connected to the Northern Beaches cluster, the other was a Western Sydney nurse who had moved positive cases in quarantine.
The cluster on the Northern Beaches prompted all states and territories to shut their borders to Greater Sydney, disrupting Christmas travel plans.
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