A person with COVID-19 got their nails done at a salon inside a popular Westfield shopping centre, NSW Health has revealed as the growing outbreak in Sydney’s east reaches a critical phase.
The department alerted the public to the new close contact site on Monday night, after the Bondi cluster grew to 11 cases.
Anyone who visited Fresh Nails at Westfield Bondi Junction on Friday should get tested and isolate for 14 days regardless of their result.
Other new exposure sites included a Chemist Warehouse and an ANZ branch in Sydney where restrictions are expected to be extended.
Two new cases identified on Monday will be included in Tuesday’s numbers. Both people are close contacts of previously reported cases and tested positive while in isolation.
Hundreds of others are isolating after scores of exposure sites were earlier identified across more than a dozen suburbs.
Passengers on three busy bus routes – visiting Baulkham Hills, Sydney, Northmead, Parramatta, Winston Hills, Haymarket and Newtown – were listed as close or casual contacts on Monday afternoon.
Concerns remain over the extreme transmissibility of the Delta strain.
“In some instances, the exchanges have been scarily fleeting,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Monday.
CCTV of the moment authorities believe the virus spread showed people were not touching.
“Literally people not even physically touching each other but fleetingly coming into the same airspace has seen the virus transfer from one person to another,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“That’s how contagious it is.”
Chief health officer Kerry Chant said the contagious nature of the virus meant the state was at a critical stage in managing the outbreak.
“From one person alone we’ve had four or five cases … even if they infect one or two each, you can see how it grows exponentially,” Dr Chant said.
Quarantine-free travel for Victorians
Meanwhile, there is some good news for Victorians hoping to go on a holiday or visit family.
From 11.59pm on Tuesday, the trans-Tasman bubble will again be operational for Victorians who hope to fly to New Zealand.
That means Victorians can go overseas but they still don’t have full freedom to travel at home.
Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland all have varying degrees of restriction on Victorians heading across their borders.
Victorians won’t have to quarantine in New Zealand but some restrictions will apply.
People who have visited a location of interest – where a potentially infected person has also travelled – in any state must not travel to New Zealand within 14 days of their visit.
Active case baffles Queensland authorities
Queensland had no new cases of community transmission on Monday, but authorities are still trying to figure out how a flight attendant contracted COVID-19 while in hotel quarantine.
Genomic sequencing results show the woman in her 30s has the less infectious Alpha variant that has been linked to a case in the same hotel.
The two cases arrived on different flights and were staying on different floors, chief health officer Jeannette Young said on Monday.
“She acquired her infection from another cabin crew member who was in quarantine at the Four Points hotel,” she said.
“I’m pretty confident that [the source of infection] won’t have been through staff, as we know that our staff get tested every single shift.”
The flight attendant was a passenger on board an Emirates flight that landed in Brisbane on June 5.
She did hotel quarantine in preparation for starting work with another airline.
Three tests returned negative results during her isolation – a process that is effective in picking up “99 per cent of cases”, Dr Young said.
The positive result wasn’t determined until Saturday, when the woman took a routine test as part of standard practice for cabin crew.
She spent time at a direct factory outlet at the airport, in Brisbane’s CBD and in the suburb of Ellen Grove between being released from quarantine and confirmation of her infection.
Cotton-On at the DFO was identified as a venue of particular concern.
“It’s important that anyone who went to the DFO between 4pm and 4.30pm, on Saturday comes forward…so that we can work with them and what risks they may have,” Dr Young said.