The state reported nine locally acquired cases on Thursday, with an additional nine cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
About a quarter of a million residents were ordered to stay home for five days from December 19 as authorities rushed to contain the outbreak, which has now grown to 97 cases.
Residents in the affected areas were told not to leave their homes except for grocery shopping, work, emergency medical treatment or visiting an isolated relative.
On Thursday Sydneysiders were asked to limit their mobility over the Christmas holidays.
“Please limit your mobility,” NSW Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.
“Apart from those close family gatherings, which we have allowed over the Christmas break, we don’t want people moving around unless you absolutely have to.”
Victoria advised its residents not to “hug or kiss” any visitors who had been in Sydney in the past 10 days.
How many people can you invite on Christmas Day?
Northern Beaches peninsula zone (North of Narrabeen Bridge, and east of the Baha’i Temple):
Berejiklian has said existing restrictions will remain in place for the northern-most suburbs under lockdown, though residents now will be allowed to host up to five neighbours on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
People are not allowed to enter or leave the zone, unless it’s for one of the four approved reasons in place.
These reasons are:
- Shopping for food or other goods and service
- Medical care or compassionate needs
- Work or education, where you cannot work or learn from home
Remainder (southern zone) of the Northern Beaches:
The restrictions are more relaxed for the southern part of the Northern Beaches suburbs, where the limit on guests is 10 people, plus primary school children and younger.
People from other parts of Sydney (apart from the Northern Beaches peninsula) are able to visit others in the zone, however those residing in the in the zone can’t leave their area.
Greater Sydney region, Central Coast, Wollongong and Nepean Blue Mountains:
People in these areas can have up to 10 people plus primary school children and younger.
Berejiklian said the region will revert to existing restrictions on December 27, where only 10 people are allowed in a household.
“Please make sure that it’s only one group to your house in Greater Sydney. You can’t mix groups,” the premier said in a press conference on Wednesday.
“You can’t have different rosters, having one-half of the family in the morning and the other half in the evening. Not possible. On any given day, you have to have the same group of 10 plus kids and that’s the difference.”
When do the rules change again?
The full lockdown for the entire region would resume on December 27, the premier said.
“They’re modest tweaks and modest changes to account for the fact that everybody has had a very difficult year,” Berejiklian said.
“We are not prepared to take any further steps than what I’ve outlined. We think the risk is too great to go further than what we have and on the 27th we want everybody to revert back to what we have today.”
NSW authorities have added dozens of venues across the city linked to the cluster and urged residents to remain vigilant.
Australia has reported more than 28,200 coronavirus cases and 908 deaths since the pandemic began.
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