Seven new cases in NSW, masks mandatory across across Sydney, Wollongong, Blue Mountains

Seven new COVID cases in NSW, masks mandatory across Greater Sydney

Masks will now be compulsory in many indoor settings - enforceable with a $200 fine - across all of Greater Sydney, which includes Wollongong, the Central Coast and the Nepean Blue Mountains.

On Saturday morning, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a tightening of restrictions for Sydney and its surrounds, with smaller caps on weddings, funerals and events also brought in.

She said the new restrictions would come in from midnight Saturday, but that the mask rules would not be enforced until Monday.

The southern part of the northern beaches are now included as part of Greater Sydney.

The Premier said people will be required to wear masks when shopping, in shopping centres, on public transport, at an indoor entertainment centre like a cinema or theatre. Places of worship, hair and beauty salons, gaming venues and staff at hospitality venues are also included.

Children under 12 are exempt from the mask wearing rules.

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Ms Berejiklian said this "wouldn't be a surprise to anybody" as the government has been a talking about making mask compulsory for a long time.

She also announced weddings and funerals would now be capped at 100, gym classes have been reduced to 30 people and night clubs are not permitted.

Places of worship and religious services are limited to one person per four square metre up to a maximum of 100 people per separate area.

People are still encouraged to limit non-essential gatherings and reduce their mobility where possible to further minimise the risk of transmission in the community.

Caps for outdoor performances and outdoor activity have been reduced from 1000 to 500 and controlled outdoor events are now capped at 2000, down from 5000.

She also said the SCG test would go ahead as planned.

Health authorities found seven cases of community transmission in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday, with four coming from same household and all but one linked to other cases.

None were found in Wollongong, which still has only two cases from the same family which has been genomically linked to the northern beaches cluster.

Of the new cases announced Saturday:

  • Five are from western and south-western Sydney and linked to the Berala cluster. There is now a total of seven cases in this cluster - the original case, a man in his 40s, five of his family members and a co-worker.
  • One is a household contact of a previously reported case, a patient transport worker, and had been isolating for their infectious period. This is the second family member of this patient transport worker to test positive, while a co-worker also previously tested positive. Whole genome sequencing reveals that their infection was acquired from returned travellers they transported.
  • One is from inner south-western Sydney and their source of infection remains under investigation

In the same 24-hour period, 12 cases were found in hotel quarantine.

The daily cases were found amid 32,000 tests - similar to the previous day's testing numbers - and Ms Berejiklian said NSW Health hoped these numbers would "go higher" in the coming days.

"The more people that get tested, the more opportunity we have to control the spread," she said, noting western and south-western Sydney were particularly important at present.

She said NSW's strategy going forward was "to keep life as normal as possible", but to also maintain and increase economic activity in the coming weeks.

A full list of venue alerts is available from the NSW Government website.

Meantime, Victoria has recorded twelve new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

The Department of Health and Human Services' daily update showed 10 of the cases were locally acquired while two were from overseas.

People continue to come for for testing with 18,337 test results received in the past 24 hours.

There are currently 29 active COVID-19 cases in Victoria.