NSW Premier's push as Covid outbreak spreads outside Sydney

NSW has recorded three new cases of Covid-19 in the reporting period to 8pm on Monday night, but additional cases overnight from areas outside Sydney’s Northern Beaches have authorities concerned.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Tuesday a case has been located in Wollongong, south of Sydney. The additional cases are not included in Tuesday’s total which are all linked to the Avalon cluster.

“I am not ruling out they are linked to the Avalon cluster, the case from Wollongong had been in Sydney, but until those links are established all of us in Greater Sydney must be on high alert,” she said.

A general view of Manly beach, in Sydney.
People in Manly during the Covid restrictions on Boxing Day. Source: AAP

Other new cases to come through overnight were in the inner west of Sydney and in Sydney’s north, NSW Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said.

“We have not ruled out that there are established links to one of those cases, but literally two of those notifications came in this morning, from the laboratory, and one came in at around 11pm last night,” Dr Chant said.

Authorities are investigating the Wollongong case and it’s believed the person had been in Sydney at some stage.

More than 16,300 Covid tests were undertaken on Monday but the premier wants more people to go for coronavirus tests.

“I say that in order to encourage as many people as possible across the state, even if you live in the regions, if you have the mildest of symptoms please come forward to get tested,” she said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is pictured.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian wants more people to come forward for testing. Source: AAP

Calls for ‘common sense’ for Sydney’s New Year’s Eve

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing said officers would be patrolling Sydney Harbour and foreshores to ensure people practise social distancing and to keep crowds down on New Year’s Eve.

There have been limits placed on indoor and outdoor gatherings.

“We expect that people would display some common sense and not turn up in areas and breach the public health orders,” he said.

“Again, we will have resources flexible, they can be moved around to deal with any crowds that may arise.”

Comm Willing added park closures, however, are a matter for councils.

“Again, we anticipate that people will be out and about but as you have heard from Dr Chant and the premier, we asked people to restrict their movements,” he said.

“Police will be able to respond to anything that arises.”

A sign warning of closures on New Years Eve on the Cahill Expressway in Sydney, Australia. New South Wales.
A sign tells people the Cahill Walkway will be closed on New Year's Eve. Source: Getty Images

On Monday, NSW reported five new cases of Covid-19. Authorities also announced a man in his 70s died from a respiratory issue related to coronavirus which he contracted in March.

The premier said front-line workers who were originally exclusively invited to enjoy the New Year’s Eve fireworks would no longer be able to do so.

Ms Berejiklian also declared the northern zone of the Northern Beaches would remain under a stay-at-home Covid order until January 9 while their neighbours in the southern zone, south of the Narrabeen Bridge, would be under the order until January 2.

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