NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is warning there are likely more cases of COVID-19 circulating in the state.
“I am … expecting the number of community transmissions to increase, given those three cases yesterday,” she told ABC TV on Thursday.
“But that’s what we expect in a pandemic. If you’re keeping your borders open, if you have an open economy, you’re keeping jobs going, you’re making sure the community is supported as much as possible, whilst you’re controlling the virus, you’re going to have cases pop up now and then,” she said.
“That’s why I’ve always argued that it’s better to have a resilient system, one with open borders, rather than have these artificial rules about when it’s safe to open a border or not. I don’t think that works, I don’t think it’s fair.”
Earlier, Ms Berejiklian chided her counterparts in Queensland and Western Australia for their “blinkered views” and unyielding border restrictions.
NSW’s streak of 12 consecutive days without a single case of community transmission of COVID-19 is likely to end on Thursday, threatening the prospect of the Queensland border re-opening on November 1.
Three cases confirmed in western and south-western Sydney will be officially added to NSW’s virus figures on Thursday.
The Queensland government has given NSW 48 hours to find the source of the new cases, otherwise the countdown clock will re-start, as Queensland insists NSW must go 28 days without a single community case.
WA has applied the same 28-day benchmark and there’s speculation it could keep its border closed until April.
Ms Berejiklian is furious, saying “unrealistic expectations like that are not fair … and it’s just not the right thing to do”.
“I think it’s a benchmark no state our size would ever be able to meet,” she told the ABC .
She said she was blindsided by the 48-hour deadline imposed by Queensland to trace the source of the latest COVID cases – hearing it on the news.
“I don’t know where they got that from. Does it matter how long it takes our experts to find the links?” she said.
WA and Queensland’s closed borders perpetuated a false sense of security, she said.
She reminded WA Premier Mark McGowan and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk that GST raised in NSW subsidised their states.
“I won’t complain about that. What I will complain about … is the attitude of the premiers,” she said.
“I don’t think it’s acceptable. I respect them as individuals, I respect them as people … but I think just to have this blinkered view that you’re not part of a nation, you’re not part of Australia is a dangerous one,” she said.
None of the three new cases – a Camden woman, a Parramatta woman and a Wollondilly man – are linked to each other so far, and authorities are racing to trace their contacts.
Anyone who dined at the five-star Ripples restaurant at Milsons Point, adjacent to Luna Park, last Saturday between 8-10.30pm has been told to get tested for COVID-19 and isolate for 14 days.
Contact tracing is underway but NSW Health said details of a handful of walk-in diners on the night weren’t recorded.
NSW Health has also issued a warning for anyone who was at the Mazda Artarmon repair centre on Sydney’s north shore between 7.30-9.30am on Friday to monitor for symptoms.
On Wednesday, NSW Health also issued an alert for who attended an 8.15am Pilates class at Fitness First in Carlingford on Saturday to get tested and isolate for 14 days.
Public health alerts have also been issued for Narellan Kmart, Penrith Homemaker Centre, Penrith Guzman y Gomez, Penrith Home Co, Westfield Parramatta and Castle Towers Shopping Centre between October 2 and 5.