Five Vic hotel guests in NSW return to iso

Angelo Risso
·3-min read

Five people in NSW who recently spent two weeks in Victoria's hotel quarantine system have been condemned to another fortnight-long isolation stint after COVID-19 transmission occurred between guests at their facility.

The transmission between guests in adjoining rooms at Melbourne's Park Royal Hotel has affected five people who have since left to travel to NSW.

NSW Health said in a statement the five people had been tracked down, told to get tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate for 14 days regardless of the result.

Victorian authorities are still seeking to establish the means of transmission between the guests, given they did not leave their hotel rooms.

NSW Health also said it would begin screening passengers arriving on flights from Melbourne after a COVID-19 hotel quarantine leak in the city.

A hotel quarantine worker in Melbourne and two of his family contacts - unconnected to the Park Royal incident - have come down with COVID-19.

"Passengers will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and asked if they have been to any of the venues of concern listed by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services," NSW Health's Jeremy McAnulty said.

"COVID-19 can emerge at any time."

It comes as NSW records its 18th consecutive day without a locally acquired COVID-19 case, as well as three cases in hotel quarantine.

Meanwhile, businesses on Sydney's northern beaches that were forced to close over the busy Christmas period due to the peninsula's 151-person COVID-19 outbreak will be entitled to grants of up to $5000.

Avalon, on the peninsula's northern tip, was the epicentre of the still-unsourced coronavirus cluster that emerged in the week before Christmas.

Stay-at-home orders in the southern part of the northern beaches lifted on January 2 and in the northern part of the region on January 9.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said small businesses in the area would be eligible for economic relief.

Businesses that experienced a 30 per cent decline in turnover during the Christmas period could claim a $3000 grant, while businesses that had a 50 per cent decline could claim $5000.

This would help the businesses cover unavoidable expenses such as rent.

"The northern beaches community and businesses did an outstanding job in helping control the spread of the virus at a critical time and unfortunately that had a material impact on many businesses," Mr Perrottet said on Thursday.

The government's "Dine and Discover" hospitality voucher program pilot on the northern beaches would also go ahead as scheduled.

Local businesses are able to sign up to join the program, which will give NSW residents four $25 vouchers to spend at hospitality and arts venues.

The program pilot is expected to begin this month.

The government also pledged to do more to promote the northern beaches as a visitor destination and to boost local mental health resources.

Business NSW said the local financial assistance would be welcomed.

"The northern beaches lockdown was especially difficult as it spread across the Christmas period, traditionally the busiest time for trade in that area," Business NSW chief executive Nola Watson said in a statement.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday said the "four square metre" rule for NSW venues would be eased to two square metres from February 12 if no COVID-19 outbreaks occurred in the meantime.

Meanwhile, a function venue in Fairfield Heights has been fined $11,000 after being caught without a COVID-safe plan or functioning CCTV cameras.