New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has tightened restrictions around New Year’s Eve celebrations as the state records five new local cases of COVID-19.
First things first, unless you have a New Year’s Eve Pass through Service NSW, you will not be able to enter designated zones around Circular Quay, North Sydney and the city.
In the peninsula zone of the northern beaches, indoor and outdoor gatherings will be allowed for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, but will be restricted to five visitors in total from your zone.
In the southern zone, 10 visitors in total will be allowed from within your zone.
— Gladys Berejiklian (@GladysB) December 28, 2020
For Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, and Wollongong, gatherings in the home remain at 10 guests.
“So on New Year’s Eve, you can’t have more than 10 people in your home,” Berejiklian told reporters during her daily presser.
“That includes children. So you can have up to 10 people in your home if you’re from Greater Sydney, but no more than that.”
However, outdoor gatherings will be reduced to 50 from 100.
There are no current changes to arrangements across regional NSW.
The Premier also explained the rules for watching the fireworks at local parks. She said events organised by councils can proceed, as well as unmanaged events so long as social distancing and gathering limits are followed.
“If there’s a local park or a local venue that some people go to look at the fireworks or to have a picnic, that is okay so long as everybody is Covid-safe,” she said.
Berejiklian also asked people to exercise “absolute restraint” when the clock strikes 12 on Thursday. And by restraint, she means try not to kiss randoms.
“When the clock ticks over to midnight from 31 December to 1 January, I know that’s normally an emotional time where we like to kiss and hug everybody around us.
“Can I ask for absolute restraint.”
NSW has scrapped its plans to give frontline workers a front row seat to watch the fireworks, which are still going ahead.
A short, seven minute firework display will take place at midnight.
“We think it’s too much of a health risk having people from the regions and from Sydney and from broader regional areas congregate all in the CBD,” Berejiklian said.
She said the government will find another opportunity during the new year to recognise what frontline workers have done.
“My strong message to everyone in Greater Sydney this year is to watch the fireworks on TV,” she said.Image: Getty Images / Mark Evans