A handful of COVID-19 restrictions will be eased in the greater Sydney area starting Friday, but it will be at least two weeks before hospitality venues can allow one person per two square feet

New South Wales Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced Wednesday that house gatherings could rise to 30, with 50 people outside (12) Friday at 1 a.m.

Masks are no longer mandatory in retail stores from Friday, but they are recommended. They remain mandatory for staff in the hospitality industry, on public transport and in places of worship, play rooms, beauticians and hairdressers

NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian at a press conference on easing restrictions in NSWCredit: Janie Barrett

Restaurants have to wait at least two more weeks until the expected relaxation of one person per four square meters to one per two square meters is achieved

“We are about to go back to the [two square meter] rule, but the best advice is that you need two transmission cycles to be sure that you have eliminated all transmissions,” Ms. Berejiklian said / p>

“We’re not there yet, and the reason is that we went through a 14 day cycle of northern beaches [without] community transmission in Sydney’s southwest and west transmission cycle”

The Prime Minister said the second cycle would be completed in two weeks, which gives health officials confidence that they have “met all the criteria” before restrictions are eased further

“We look forward to starting the work year and school year in a positive light by relaxing these restrictions to make sure we are COVID-safe but also taking advantage of last year’s lessons as we get along with it.” deal with a pandemic that is evolving ”

Under the simplified restrictions due to begin on Friday, weddings and funerals will be limited to 300 people who are fully occupied according to the four square meter rule

Dancing is still limited to 20 people in a bridal shower. Singing is limited to five people in a choir

In the last reporting period, two cases from 9723 tests were acquired abroad, compared to 7819 in the last 24 hours

Health Secretary Brad Hazzard said authorities remain concerned about the low test numbers across the state as the virus could still circulate in the community

“The test numbers were around 8000 or 9000 [number] That’s not enough,” he said

“We need clear information about whether or not the virus is still circulating in our community, especially in the west and southwest”

Mr. Hazzard said increased testing numbers would be needed to give health officials the confidence to recommend further easing of restrictions over the next two weeks

Dr Kerry Chant, chief health officer, said that despite the low risk of community transmission, vigilance is still vital for the greater Sydney area

“I have used the words ‘critical period’ many times in our response during COVID and I think I will use them again”We want to make sure there are no undiscovered chains of transmission,” she said

“We are particularly focused on the west of Sydney and the south-west of Sydney. As a special call to these communities please get in touch”

NSW Health wastewater monitoring reported that fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 were recently discovered at the Liverpool sewage treatment plant

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NSW restrictions

World News – AU – NSW COVID-19 restrictions are set to be eased from Friday, but hospitality venues have yet to wait

Source: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/nsw-covid-19-restrictions-to-ease-from-friday-but-hospitality-venues-still-have-to-wait-20210127-p56x5z.html