'Evolving situation' but SCG Test still going ahead
The third cricket Test between Australia and India will go ahead in Sydney despite the growing COVID-19 clusters and strict new rules around social gatherings.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian rolled out new restrictions in the past 24 hours, which include outdoor gatherings limited to 30 people.
But Ms Berejiklian stood by the decision to allow a 50 per cent capacity crowd at the traditional New Year's Test, which starts on January 7.
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Cricket Australia is expecting a minimum of 19,000 people to attend per day.
"We stand by our decision to make sure we are able to hold COVID safe events and, as Dr Chant said if we need to re-evaluate some of the settings, some of the health settings update our advice, update our compliance measures update COVID safety plan, we won't hesitate to do that," Ms Berejiklian said.
"If there is an opportunity for us to hold events that are COVD safe we should also proceed on that because at the end of the day, what's on the line?
"Yes, community safety always comes first, but we also have to keep jobs going, we don't want to see more people out of their jobs and we want to make sure that we try and have a sense of normality and if we can do that in a safe way, we should."
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said they would be monitoring the situation.
"And the situation just changes so rapidly," she said.
"I don't think we have ever been fearful of changing our advice or putting in additional controls where it needed to be.
So we are very much keen to work with the SCG, to make sure the COVID safety plans are robust. But also, if the situation evolves and we're more concerned about community transmission, then we will take the appropriate (steps) and provide the appropriate advice to the Government.
"It's really clear that this is an evolving situation and we will update our advice accordingly."
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Speaking at her daily press briefing, Ms Berejiklian said while it was pleasing to see case numbers fall, the situation remains "very volatile".
She stressed the importance of wearing masks at indoor public places.
"What is really important is for us all to do everything we can to reduce our mobility, to reduce the number of people you are mixing with to make sure you stick to the rules of the health advice that has been provided," she said.
NSW Health Chief Officer Dr Kerry Chant said several of the positive cases from the Croydon Park cluster had been "out and about" before their diagnosis leading to alerts being issued for a number of new venues including:
- Monkey Mania at Bankstown Sports Club, Monday December 28 between 10am and 12pm
- Piazza, Bankstown Sports Club, Monday December 28, 12pm -2pm
- Bass Hill Hair Management, Bass Hill Plaza, Thursday, December 24 from 11.15am - 12.30pm
- The Venus nail salon, Bass Hill, Thursday December 24, 12.30pm - 1pm
- Kings Park Anytime Fitness, Kings Park. Sunday December 20, 9.30am - 11.45am
- Bardwell Park Earlwood RSL, Monday December 28, 6pm t-11pm
- Priceline Pharmacy, Rhodes Waterside, Thursday 24 December, 9am -12pm
- BWS Bass Hill, Thursday December 24, 1.10pm to 1.30pm
People who attended any of these venues are advised to be tested immediately and isolate until a negative result is received.
Calls for greater Sydney lockdown
Western Australian Medical Association President, Doctor Andrew Miller, is among those pushing for tighter restrictions across NSW.
"It wouldn't be going too far to put Sydney in lockdown at the moment until you have this under control," Dr Miller told Today.
"Sydney may well have the best contact tracing in the country. But that is an incredibly difficult task when you have this number of people and they're moving around.
"Health authorities had been expecting an increase in COVID-19 cases in the days after Christmas and into the New Year," he said.