It’s set to be a very subdued New Years Eve for those living in Sydney, Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast of NSW, with the latest bout of COVID-19 taking a wrecking ball to social plans.
The NSW Government has now mandated that household gatherings be capped at five guests, after the state recorded 18 new community transmissions of the virus over the past 24 hours, with a second cluster ominously emerging in Sydney’s inner west.
Nine cases were linked to the previously identified Avalon cluster, which sent the Northern Beaches region into lockdown over Christmas, while a new cluster in Croydon accounted for another six cases. The source of that cluster currently remains unknown.
Freaking out that NYE celebrations could spell disaster for the spread of the virus, the government has also axed the number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings from 50 down to 30.
“We don’t want New Year’s Eve to be the cause of a super-spreader [event],” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said today.
“It only takes one person in [a] family gathering to give it to everybody else in the family.”
Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello added: “The health advice suggests that gatherings in the home pose a higher risk.
“Restaurants and cafes doing the right thing with COVID-safe practices backed up with a team of inspectors are more controlled environments,” he said.
Despite the escalating situation, the government has given the third Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground the green light to proceed as planned.
Happy New Years, we guess?
For the latest list of NSW locations visited by potentially infectious cases of COVID-19, head here.
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) December 30, 2020