New restrictions announced for NSW as more Covid cases emerge

Coronavirus cases have grown once again in NSW with a further nine cases reported on Saturday.

All of the new positive cases are linked to the Northern Beaches cluster, with the premier announcing a host of new restrictions on Boxing Day.

People in the northern part of the Northern Beaches will, until December 30, revert to restrictions in place before Christmas, with the addition of being allowed to gather in groups of five outdoors only.

Those in southern parts of the Northern Beaches will also revert to pre-Christmas restrictions, with the addition of gatherings outdoors of up to 10 people.

Of the new cases, one could be a false positive, premier Gladys Berejiklian said, while the eight others were directly linked to the Avalon cluster.

The premier announced new restrictions for Sydney on Boxing Day. Source: AAP
The premier announced new restrictions for Sydney on Boxing Day. Source: AAP

“Six out of those eight actually lived in the same household, someone had the virus and the other two are deemed to be close contacts to where the disease was transmitted,” Ms Berejilian said.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant revealed a further case had been reported on Boxing Day, an individual in Sydney’s Eastern Suburb of Bondi with no known links to the Northern Beaches.

“The case remains under investigation. We are relying on serological testing and repeat testing on that case turning negative, but we are looking at whether they could be a false positive or an old case,” Ms Chant said.

“We are taking a very precautionary approach.”

‘Absolutely appalling’

Health Minister Brad Hazzard condemned revellers who flocked to Bronte Beach in Sydney on Christmas Day, imploring them to “stop it”.

“It is absolutely appalling to see what was clearly a group of people, a large gathering of people, who didn't give a damn about the rest of Sydney,” Mr Hazzard told reporters.

“Let me tell you, that event, I am hoping, will not become a super spreader event. But has every chance that it could be.”

“My message to those people and people who know any of those people, is tell them to stop it, cut it out, or you may well end up with the virus itself or you may end up being part of a super spreader event. It is absolutely appalling.”

The reimposition of the pre-Christmas stay-at-home orders will come into play from 12.01am Sunday.

Health orders would be revised on December 30.

Hundreds flouted social distancing rules at Bronte Beach on Christmas Day. Source: Nine News
Hundreds flouted social distancing rules at Bronte Beach on Christmas Day. Source: Nine News

Sydneysiders, meanwhile, have been urged to think twice about attending Boxing Day sales over fears of Covid-19 transmission.

It came as passengers on a regional flight and people lining up for Santa photos in the CBD were among the latest groups to be placed on alert.

People on flight ZL6469 from Sydney to Griffith, in NSW's Riverina region, departing at 2.10pm on Monday are considered close contacts of a virus case.

People who attended a Santa photo setup on level three of Sydney's QVB building between 10.15am and 11am on Wednesday should monitor for symptoms, and get tested and isolate if they appear.

Many Sydneysiders made do with smaller Christmas celebrations on Friday because of restrictions on family gatherings.

Ms Berejiklian on Friday discouraged people from going to the CBD for Boxing Day sales. But the premier implored anyone who did venture out to wear a mask, use hand sanitiser and practice social distancing.

With AAP

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