There is a nervous wait to see how much Sydney’s Northern Beaches cluster will grow today as the outbreak threatens to cause a Christmas crisis as cases surge.
Holiday plans are in chaos with states and territories slamming their doors shut to Northern Beaches residents, and NSW Health has put residents across the entire state on high alert to monitor for any COVID-19 symptoms.
“If we find we’re not getting on top of the virus we will need to consider further measures, I’m hoping it won’t get to that,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said yesterday.
“The harder all of us work together, the better Christmas we will have.”
Those in the Northern Beaches who weren’t in isolation yesterday were in lines at their nearest COVID clinic — the testing blitz will reveal how successful authorities have been at containing the cluster amid fears it has already spread further through Australia’s biggest city, as the list of venues linked to known cases grows.
“Anyone in the state with even the mildest symptoms such as headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat or runny nose, is asked to come forward immediately for testing, then isolate until a negative result is received,” NSW Health said yesterday.
Stay at home, wear a mask
Ms Berejiklian said the weekend would be crucial in deciding if any restrictions needed to be changed, despite her reluctance to tighten anything ahead of Christmas.
“But I also do want to stress we don’t want to be in a position just before Christmas to have to restrict the easing of restrictions we have put in place a couple of weeks ago,” she said.
“I know from the testing regime overnight but also from the behaviour of people today, especially in Avalon and the Northern Beaches, the people are taking our advice and they are listening to the health messages.
“But if we don’t feel that is enough and we feel the number of cases is going up to an extent we are not comfortable with, we will take greater measures in and around the Northern Beaches community and perhaps even through Greater Sydney if we feel that risk is there,” the premier said.
All beaches from The Spit to Palm Beach have been closed, and Ms Berejiklian said people should also wear masks in supermarkets, places of worship and other indoor areas.
“Nobody should be getting on public transport without a mask. It would be just crazy not to do this,” she said.
Situations where mask use is not expected include:
- In your home
- Infants or young children unable to tolerate mask use
- Where there is a relevant medical condition
NSW Health said currently it was only an advisory measure rather than a mandatory regulation, but it would continue to monitor the situation.
Venues linked to confirmed cases grows
Anyone who was at the below venues during these times must immediately self-isolate for 14 days and get tested. They must remain in isolation regardless of the result.
- Hair by Erika, Village Shopping Centre Lane Cove, 11 December, 3.30-5pm
- Rusti Fig Café Newport, 12 December, 9-10am
- Salon of Hair Turramurra, 15 December, 10am-3pm, and 16 December, 9.30am-3.30pm
Close and casual contacts:
- Sienna Marina, 7-41 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomoolo, 11 December, 12-2pm. (Anyone who spent one hour or longer at the restaurant at this time must get tested and isolate until December 25. Other patrons should monitor for symptoms, and isolate and get tested immediately if symptoms appear.)
- Pilgrims Vegetarian Café, 97 Gerrale St, Cronulla, 16 December 11.30am-2.30pm (Anyone who was at the café during this time for one hour or more must be tested immediately and isolate until 30 December. Other patrons should monitor for symptoms, and get tested immediately if they appear.)
- Cronulla RSL Club, 38 Gerrale St, Cronulla on 16 December, 5pm to closing time. (Anyone who was at the RSL at this time must get tested and isolate until further notice. Close contacts will need to isolate until 30 December.)
People who have visited the following locations are casual contacts, and should get tested immediately and isolate until they receive a negative result:
- Coles Newport, 11 December, 5-7pm, and 12 December, 3.15-3.30pm
- Hills Florist, Terrey Hills, 12 December, 8-8.45am – close contacts have been contacted directly by NSW Health
- Restaurant Lovat, Newport, 12 December, 2.15-2.25pm and 4.10-4.15pm
- Nourished Wholefood Café, Avalon, 12 December, 7.30-7.40am
- RAN Sailing Association Darling Point, Navy Bear Café and Christmas party, 13 December, 10am 4pm
- Sabiang Thai Restaurant, 4/49 Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon Beach, 13 December, 6-8pm
- Seven West Media Building, 8 Central Ave, Eveleigh, 14 December, 8-11.30am
- Mentmore and Morley Café and public toilets, 55 Mentmore Ave, Roseberry, 14 December 10am-3pm
- Harris Farm, Mona Vale Plaza, 14 December, 11-11.10am
- Paris Seafood Café, 136 Cronulla, 15 December, 8.30-9pm
- Cronulla Mall, 15 December, 8-9pm and 16 December 11am-12pm
- Blend @ Grantham Café, Riverstone, 16 December 11-11.45am
- Westfield Bondi Junction, 15 December, 1-2.30pm
- Forest Way Fruit Market, 2 Myoora St, Terrey Hills, 16 December, 4-4.10pm
Confirmed cases travelled on the following transport services. Other passengers are considered to be casual contacts, and should get tested and isolate until a negative result is received.
- Ferry from Palm Beach to Wagstaffe, 16 December, 6.15pm-6.35pm
- Forest Coach Lines buses between Forestville and the CBD
- Route 273, 15 December, Departing Jamieson Square, Forestville, 7.10am and arriving QVB, 8am
- Route 271, 15 December, Departing QVB 5.25pm and arriving Austlink Business Park Belrose 6.28pm
- Route 273, 16 December, Departing Jamieson Square, Forestville 7.10am and arriving QVB, CBD, 8am
- Route 271, 16 December, Departing QVB 5.25pm and arriving Austlink Business Park Belrose, 6.28pm