News Coronavirus NSW amends mask requirement but extends other restrictions until May 17

NSW amends mask requirement but extends other restrictions until May 17

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Unless you're working behind the counter, masks are no longer required, although other restrictions remain. Photo: Getty
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NSW has extended its COVID-19 restrictions for one week, despite recording another day of no new locally acquired cases.

NSW Health said investigations were still ongoing into how a man in his 50s contracted the virus, before passing it onto his wife.

Most restrictions will remain in place across Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and Central Coast) until May 17.

From Monday, customers of retail and hospitality venues will be able to shop without wearing a mask, however public-facing retail staff must continue to do so.

In a statement, NSW Health said restrictions would remain in place “to safeguard the community and reduce the risk of further transmission” while investigations continued.

“NSW Health has not identified how the initial case … was exposed to COVID-19, which suggests he acquired the infection through brief contact with a currently unidentified person who was infectious in the community” the statement said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian tweeted her thanks to the public for their “patience” while contact tracers worked to identify the “missing link”.

The following measures are in effect until 12.01 am Monday May 17:

  • Visitors to households are limited to 20 guests, including children
  •  Masks are compulsory on public transport and in public indoor venues, such as theatres, hospitals, and aged care facilities
  • Masks are not required in gyms or other similar facilities like indoor pools or dance studios
  • Drinking while standing up at indoor venues is not allowed
  • Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship is not allowed
  • Dancing is not allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs, however dancing is allowed at weddings with a strong recommendation of no more than 20 people on the dancefloor
  • • Visitors to aged care facilities are limited to two people per day.
  • Patrons and customers do not have to wear a mask unless they are in the gaming area of a hospitality venue.

Vaccination Central

The extension of restrictions comes as NSW prepares to open its mass vaccination centre at Sydney Olympic Park on Monday.

The centre will be open from 8:00am to 8:00pm six days a week, and will be operated by 300 health professionals, including 200 registered nurses and midwives.

Once the centre is operating, it will have the ability to administer around 30,000 vaccines per week — half the weekly number of jabs across the state.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard thanked health staff and others for getting the vaccination centre up and running quickly.

“Tomorrow will be a great day for the people of NSW and a big step forward for our vaccination rollout,” he said.

“It is critical that everyone gets vaccinated against COVID-19.”

NSW Health has administered 779,939 vaccines in total, including 544,087 via the GP network.

NSW six new overseas-acquired cases to 8:00pm last night, while a previously reported overseas case has been excluded after further investigations.

There were 18,024 tests carried out in the latest reporting period, compared with 22,153 the previous day.