News Coronavirus Tighter restrictions for NSW venues as virus cases mount

Tighter restrictions for NSW venues as virus cases mount

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There are tougher COVID restrictions for NSW venues from Friday.
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NSW Police will enforce tightened coronavirus restrictions that come into effect for the state’s restaurants, clubs, cafes and event venues on Friday.

Under the return to tougher rules, venues will have new caps on patrons of 300, and group bookings will be capped at 10 – all of whom must remain seated.

Funerals and places of worship will be capped at 100 people, while weddings and corporate events can have no more than 150, also seated.

Mandatory sign-ins and prepared COVID-safe plans will also be required. However, caps for private indoor and outdoor gatherings in NSW remain at 20.

On Thursday, Queensland added the Sydney suburb of Fairfield, in the city’s south-west, to its list of COVID-19 hotspots. It joins Liverpool, Campbelltown and all of Victoria.

Residents of hotspot areas, or anyone who has visited one, are banned from entering Queensland.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner also declared Port Stephens, north of Newcastle, a coronavirus hotspot on Thursday. Anyone who has been there in the past 14 days must do two weeks of supervised quarantine upon arrival in the NT at their own cost, or return home.

The declarations come after 46 coronavirus diagnoses connected to an outbreak at the Thai Rock restaurant in Fairfield and more confirmed cases in and around Port Stephens.

NSW had 19 new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday, including three in hotel quarantine. It is yet to report its figures for Thursday.

The cluster associated with the Crossroads Hotel in Casula, in south-western Sydney, has also grown to 56.

nsw venues restrictions
The virus outbreak connected to the Thai Rock restaurant keeps growing. Photo: AAP

An aged care facility in Sydney’s inner-west was closed to visitors on Thursday after a staff member tested positive.

Near Port Stephens, Tomaree Public School and High School, Goodstart childcare centre at Anna Bay, the Woolworths at Salamander Bay Village and Fingal Bay Cafe and Takeaway have all undergone deep cleaning after being exposed to a person with the coronavirus.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said the state would continue to add restrictions as the virus spread and more hotspots erupted.

“We’ll keep monitoring that and then, if we have places where there are outbreaks, like we did yesterday, declaring Fairfield and the local government area or hotspot,” Dr Miles told ABC radio on Friday.

“More hotspots are probably likely, but the hotspots will change – we’ve had hotspots come and go throughout this pandemic and we’ll see that again.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will meet state and territory leaders on Friday morning to discuss the national impact of Victoria’s coronavirus outbreak.

On Thursday, the state had five deaths, taking Australia’s COVID toll to 133.

Victoria had 403 new cases on Thursday, as mask-wearing became mandatory in greater Melbourne and the neighbouring Mitchell Shire and there were crackdowns on people flouting social distancing regulations.

Treasury figures show Victoria’s second lockdown is expected to cost the national economy $3.3 billion.

State and territory leaders will be briefed via videoconference on other aspects of the economic meltdown, which were spelled out in the federal government’s update on Thursday.

Treasury expects to government debt to exceed $850 billion and the federal budget to be $184.5 billion in deficit by the end of this financial year.

The unemployment rate is expected to peak at 9.25 per cent before Christmas, with another 240,000 people out of work.

The leaders will also be briefed on the timetable for easing restrictions and planning for local COVID outbreaks.

-with AAP