News, Culture & Society

Covid, Australia: Sydney could endure restrictions despite zero new coronavirus cases

Millions in Sydney face weekend of Covid restrictions as health chiefs searches for ‘missing link’ who infected BBQ businessman – despite ZERO new cases for six days

  • NSW Premier will decide this weekend whether restrictions will lift next week
  • Overnight 23,000 people got tested for the virus; trying to find missing link
  • Gladys Berejiklian said she can’t predict what her decision will be at this stage

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will decide on the weekend whether to end Covid-19 restrictions imposed in Greater Sydney last week despite a sixth consecutive day of no new local cases of the virus. 

Health authorities are still yet to establish how a man in his 50s from Sydney’s east dubbed ‘BBQ man’ become infected with Covid, one week on from his positive test.

‘Extensive investigations’ have so far failed to find the original source of his infection, although it has been linked to a returned traveller from the US. 

Authorities believe the man may have acquired the infection through brief contact with a currently unidentified person who was infectious in the community.  

The man’s wife tested positive a day later but no other cases have so far been reported in the community.  

‘I’m very comfortable about how things are going but obviously we will monitor how things are going in other states,’ Ms Berejiklian said on Wednesday.

Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) will decide on the weekend whether to end Covid-19 restrictions imposed in Greater Sydney last week

She said she cannot predict what advice health authorities will give her before deciding the current precautions that remain in place are still necessary.

‘But obviously every day that goes by with zero cases means that the health experts were more confident to let us go back to what we had last Thursday,’ Ms Berejiklian said.

‘What we always know is when clusters emerge. What we don’t know is how many clusters we prevented.’

Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains had some restrictions imposed on Thursday that are scheduled to last until the end of the weekend. 

Household gatherings remain capped at 20 people, mask usage remains mandatory on public transport and indoor venues such as theatres and aged care homes, and singing and dancing remains mostly banned.

Hospitality patrons are still not permitted to drink while standing.

She says she can't predict what advice health authorities will give her before deciding if precautions like mask-wearing on public transport and a 20 person limit on visitors to homes are still necessary

She says she can’t predict what advice health authorities will give her before deciding if precautions like mask-wearing on public transport and a 20 person limit on visitors to homes are still necessary

‘We’re pretty much having life as normal but for a few tweaks,’ Ms Berejiklian said.

About 75,000 people in NSW have registered to get vaccinated since Sydney’s purpose-built Covid-19 vaccination hub opened for business on Monday.

The new facility Sydney Olympic Park administered about 2500 jabs to frontline workers and their family members on its first day.

The thousands who have registered to get the jab as soon as possible has boosted confidence the stalled vaccine rollout will be expedited.

‘There’s opportunities for us to move as quickly as we can,’ Ms Berejiklian said.

‘I’m really keen to see that happen.’

NSW Health remains on high alert after a Victorian man tested positive after a two-week hotel quarantine stint in South Australia.

The man was active in the Greater Melbourne area for several days.

Anyone in NSW who has been in the Melbourne area since May 6 must complete a declaration form, available on the Service NSW website, confirming they have not attended a venue of concern, NSW Health says.

If they have attended any of the venues identified at the times listed, they must contact NSW Health immediately.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk