NSW records eight new COVID-19 cases as Berala cluster grows

NSW records eight new COVID-19 cases as Berala cluster grows”

Australia's most populous state of New South Wales on Saturday made masks compulsory and imposed new restrictions as its coronavirus cluster expanded by seven, while neighbouring Victoria recorded 10 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases.

There is a health alert for anyone who visited the bottle shop on any day between December 22 and December 31.

A total of 13 of the 21 cases dined at a Black Rock restaurant on December 21, Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said.

Jeroen Weimar, the Covid outreach manager for Victoria, says he expects 8,000 more findings from today's Covid 19 tests on Saturday.

"We have been dealing with two different strains that have been causing two clusters", she said, telling media that the driver passed the virus on to a colleague, who then visited the BWS store in Berala.

There were 32 active cases in Victoria on Sunday, including people in mandatory hotel quarantine.

Tens of thousands of Sydneysiders will have to isolate, with "major concerns" over the transmission of COVID-19 during brief interactions at a western suburbs bottle shop.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard encouraged residents, particularly in the Cumberland and Wollongong areas, to "rise to the occasion again" and increase testing numbers.

Two are connected to the Avalon cluster on the northern beaches, five are connected to the Berala cluster in Sydney's west and one is a household contact of a case in Wollongong.

There are now 220 close contacts of cases and 359 casual contacts in quarantine.

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"No Victorian who wants to get tested, who needs to get tested, should ever be turned away from a queue but that's what's happening at the moment and until the government fixes that, we are all going to be exposed to a greater risk than we need to be", he said.

Compliance will start from Monday, 4 January 2021 with $200 on the spot fines for individuals for non-compliance.

Masks are now mandatory in Sydney shopping centres, on public transport, in places of worship, hair and beauty premises, entertainment venues such as cinemas and at other indoor venues like post offices and banks.

Hospitality staff will also have to wear a mask while serving customers.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from wearing masks along with those with certain medical conditions.

Stay-at-home orders continue for northern beaches residents north of Narrabeen Bridge until at least January 9.

Restrictions on businesses and gatherings include gym classes reduced to 30 people and places of worship and funerals to one person per four square metres, and up to a maximum of 100 people per separate area.

Outdoor performances will be reduced to 500 from 1000 and controlled outdoor events from 5000 to 2000 to reduce the risk of super spreading events.

Despite the outbreak in Sydney, a scheduled 5-day cricket match between Australia and India, starting on Thursday, will go ahead, although with a reduced number of spectators. At least 20,000 people are expected to attend daily.

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