NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian has tightened the New Year’s Eve restrictions and declared another coronavirus cluster in Sydney’s Inner West

The health authorities have registered 18 positive COVID-19 infections, including six in connection with the so-called “Croydon Cluster”

All six cases are members of the same extended family and were reported to have been in close contact with others over the Christmas period

The prime minister said she expected the number of cases “to increase for several weeks,” and ordered that the number of household meetings be cut in half until further notice

“The Croydon cluster is of concern as there are currently no direct links,” she said

“We anticipate that there will be more cases from this cluster due to the nature of the movements of this extended family”

Kerry Chant, NSW’s chief health officer, said the six cases – three adults and three children – were spread across three households in Southwest Sydney and the Inner West

The first case in Croydon occurred yesterday morning, said Dr Chant, and someone presented for testing very late the night before

There was no point in anyone since 19 December violated one of the restrictions imposed on the Greater Sydney Area

However, since the index case for Croydon has not yet been identified – genome sequencing is ongoing – the limits for indoor collection have been effectively cut in half for New Year’s Eve

From midnight tonight until further notice, the maximum attendance per household in the Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Wollongong and Nepean Blue Mountains areas has been reduced from 10 to five

The Northern Beaches region, which has been divided into two distinct zones, also has a visitor limit of five per household, and outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 and 10, respectively, for the southern and northern zones limited to five people

All elderly care facilities in Greater Sydney must be at least 6 years old January no more visitors. Exceptions apply to people who carry out essential maintenance functions or to circumstances at the end of life

“We understand the implications of this, but for now, until we understand the full scope of the transfer, we don’t want to be accidentally introduced into our elderly care facilities,” said Dr Chant

Nine cases reported this morning have been linked to the Avalon cluster, which is now at 138, and three more are being investigated

Dr Chant said two of the mysterious cases came from the same household in Wollongong and the other from northern Sydney

The Prime Minister said “the preferred advice” is that people limit mobility and stay home on New Year’s Eve or, if they don’t, go outside where there is adequate ventilation and social distancing

However, the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast heavy rain tomorrow through the New Year, warning people “definitely have an option for wet weather”

Given that cases have moved to the greater Sydney area, the Prime Minister was asked if it was unfair for the northern beaches to be subject to harsher lockdown conditions

“I can appreciate the frustration people are feeling the people on the northern beaches really do a lot at this stage to protect everyone

“But none of us can deny the high number of cases still active in this region and the high number of close contacts we identify every day, which actually confirms our position”

She said the geography of the northern beaches, with their limited entry points, is ideal for separate rules and she does not want to impose further restrictions across NSW “unless we have to”

She defended the government’s decision to relax restrictions between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, saying she was working on the best health advice at the time

“This shows us during a pandemic that you need to make decisions based on science and data, and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing every step of the way,” she said

“We can introduce any constraints we like, but when people choose not to do the right thing or use common sense, it is a huge risk for all of us, and unfortunately that happens sometimes” / p>

When asked if it was reasonable for people to be disappointed with the government’s handling of the Avalon cluster, the prime minister said, “That is up to you”

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World News – AU – New cluster in Sydney’s inner west, restrictions tightened again

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-30/nsw-declares-croydon-cluster-as-state-records-18-covid-19-cases/13021092