Gladys Berejiklian has said that the Sydney mask’s mandate will likely extend beyond Wednesday, as New South Wales recorded two new local Covid-19 cases.
The two new cases were recorded after 8 p.m. Sunday, which means they will be recorded in Tuesday’s numbers. Two separate cases that had already been announced on Sunday were also reported.
“While this is not a bad result, our level of concern is still there,” said the prime minister of New South Wales.
He said that people in Sydney and surrounding areas would likely have to continue wearing masks after Wednesday.
Current rules require masks to be worn indoors in the Randwick, Bayside, Canada local government areas Bay, Inner West, City of Sydney, Waverley and Woollahra.
Masks are also mandatory on public transport in the greater Sydney area, as well as in the local government areas of Wollongong and Shellharbour.
“Given the situation we find ourselves in and given that we do not want more restrictions to be imposed more broadly in our city and our state, in all likelihood, the existing environments that we have in place will continue beyond five days,” Berejiklian said.
When asked if she expected more restrictions to be needed, NSW Health Director Kerry Chant said authorities were “just looking at every new case that comes in” and monitoring unrelated cases and new exposure locations.
“This is a critical part of the answer,” said Chant.
“It is essential that we all do our part to moderate our behaviors, taking that special care, and that applies to people, but also to companies.”
Berejiklian said this meant refraining from large gatherings unless “absolutely necessary” and “assuming that you or someone close to you has the virus.”
“We know from the number of cases that we have already seen in this particular group that, in some cases, the exchanges have been appalling. [fleeting],” she said.
“Literally, people who come, do not even physically touch, but literally fleetingly enter the same airspace.”
The new cases reported were a woman in her 50s from southern Sydney and a man in her 50s from Sutherland County, both close contacts of an existing case.
Also on Monday, Queensland authorities revealed that a new case reported over the weekend had leaked from a hotel quarantine.
Authorities said Sunday that a woman had tested positive after completing her 14-day quarantine at a hotel. He had visited a Brisbane mall, the CBD, and a restaurant.
On Monday, Queensland Health Director Jeannette Young said there was “no question” that the woman had contracted the virus from someone else at a hotel quarantine facility in Four Points.
“We are finding out how that transmission happened, but there is no doubt that she acquired it at the hotel or at some point when she came into contact with that person,” Young said.
The woman traveled from Portugal to Australia on an Emirates flight to work as a cabin crew for other airlines.
Young said the woman had the “Alpha” variant, which was not as contagious as the “Delta” variant.
Queensland had no new cases on Monday.
In Victoria, a new case was recorded: a resident of a Southbank apartment complex at the center of an existing outbreak.
The person was already isolating himself when he tested positive.
Acting Prime Minister James Merlino said he hoped the state government could ease restrictions further this week.
“I am confident and expectant that later in the week we will announce a wide range of easing of restrictions for the Victoria and Melburn residents of the region,” Merlino said.
“But I don’t want to foreshadow them today. As Prof [Brett] Sutton always says, everything is on the table in terms of evaluation, and it will be public health advice in terms of what can be further facilitated in a Covid-safe way. “
Merlino also hit the pace of the vaccine launch ahead of a national cabinet meeting on Monday.
“When you compare how Australia is doing with the rest of the world, we are falling so far behind that it is not funny,” he said Monday morning.
Merlino said he was concerned that Victoria would face a shortfall in doses from the Commonwealth in July and August.
That would be followed by a “mad fever” towards the end of the year, he said.
Speaking after the national cabinet, Berejiklian said it was a “relief” to know that vaccines would be distributed to states and territories based on population.
He said that if NSW received the vaccines that the federal government now promised, more GPs will also have to join the rollout.
Victoria added the NSW local government areas of Bayside, Canada Bay, Inner West and Randwick to its list of orange zones on Sunday night.
It means that people traveling to Victoria from these areas should be tested and isolated until they get a negative result.
The LGAs for the city of Sydney, Waverley and Woollahra were already listed as orange zones.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism