'Don't panic': Confusion as list of Sydney exposure sites grows

·Lifestyle Editor
·3-min read

The NSW government has been slammed for "confusing" mixed messages as the list of exposure sites grows in Sydney's east.

Bondi was hit with more than a dozen Covid alerts on Friday for venues that were visited by an infected person.

Sixteen of those alerts were in Bondi Junction, including the entire Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre.

On Friday another local COVID-19 case popped up in a man who had "fleeting exposure" from an infected shopper.

The man in his 50s caught the virus while shopping at Myer Bondi Junction on Saturday.

He was on the same floor in the same section as a limousine driver believed to be at the centre of this week's outbreak.

There has been a warning issued to shoppers at Bondi Junction Westfield. Source: Getty
There has been a warning issued to shoppers at Bondi Junction Westfield. Source: Getty

With the new exposure sites listed, some people in Bondi were confused over the rules with cafe worker Samrina Dangol saying she was scared to come to work.

"We're customer-facing and we never know who might have the virus," she told the ABC.

"I admire Australia and I appreciate the way the government is handling the situation, but obviously we're impacted.

"Sometimes when the government does give advice, like about the vaccines and who needs to be vaccinated, it's confusing."

Covid case 'terribly handled'

Shadow health minister Ryan Park also criticised the government's response, saying the case at the centre of the outbreak had been "terribly handled".

"We know that there haven't been the strict protocols and the checks and balances put in place by the government," he told the ABC.

"We need the government to be really clear with their messages at the moment because the community is concerned, small businesses are concerned. And what we rely on the government is to give accurate, consistent and clear advice."

He added mixed messaging from the government was causing concern, with NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian on Friday discouraging travel but saying events could still go on as planned.

"Don't panic but remain on high alert," she told reporters.

"If you're planning to go to an organised event, those events should proceed because all outdoor events, all events have good COVID safety plans."

Mask mandate on public transport

Mask usage on Sydney's public transport network will now be mandatory for at least five days after the new case emerged.

"Some people for some reason aren't contagious and some are extremely contagious ... the randomness of that is what makes it scary," she said.

The new case comes after an unvaccinated limousine driver from Sydney's east and his wife were diagnosed with the coronavirus and subsequently infected a woman in her 70s at a Vaucluse cafe.

The limo driver, aged in his 60s, transported international air crews.

Another case – a man in his 40s from Sydney's northwest – also tested positive for COVID-19, but NSW Health has not yet concluded if the case is genuine.

The man in his 50s will be included in numbers released on Saturday.

with AAP

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