The NSW Government is reintroducing 20-person guest limits and compulsory mask-wearing indoors after a Sydney man tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The new restrictions will be enforced from 5 PM on Thursday until midnight on Monday, May 10, and will apply across Greater Sydney, the Central coast and the Illawarra. However, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has asked people to start following the rules immediately, if possible.

“Public transport, if you go to the supermarket, any indoor event, will require compulsory mask wearing, in addition to hospitality workers,” she told reporters on Thursday morning.

The full restrictions across the Greater Sydney region are as follows:

  • Household visitor limits are capped at 20, including children
  • Face masks are compulsory on public transport
  • Face masks are also compulsory in all indoor venues, including shops, cinemas and hospitals
  • Drinking while standing is banned at indoor venues
  • Singing indoors is banned
  • Dancing is not allowed at indoor venues like clubs, however an exception has been made for weddings
  • Visitors to aged care facilities are now limited to two people.

Berejiklian stressed how important it is to check-in to venues with QR codes.

“We cannot tell you how useful the QR codes were in relation to identifying people who may have been at various venues or identifying close contact,” she said.

“The QR codes are what is allowing New South Wales to have a proportionate response in addition to the wonderful work done by our health detectives.”

Berejiklian also said that while the 20-person-limit on household guests will coincide with Mother’s Day on Sunday, she said the limit is still generous enough to be “manageable” for people.

“If you’ve got a booking, go to the booking. Enjoy Mother’s Day. Do what you would normally do,” she said.

While bars, restaurants and cafes aren’t being heavily restricted just yet, Berejiklian also stressed that we should start taking personal precautions when going out.

“I should add that as a precaution we’re recommending that if anybody is going to a bar, that all drinking indoors be seated,” she said.

“So as an extra precaution, over the next three days, if you go into a bar, get your drink, but sit down instead of mingling to prevent potential transmission.”

Regarding the man who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said CCTV footage was being checked to find the “missing link” from whom he might’ve contracted the virus, seeing as he hadn’t returned from overseas.

“What we’re concerned about is there is another person that is as of yet unidentified that infected our case, and then the hypothesis is that this case passed it on to their household,” she said.

Berejiklian added that this is why the response has been so swift: “At least one person with the virus has been going about their business and we haven’t found them yet. We don’t know where they’ve been. We don’t know if they’ve been to major events. We don’t know who they’ve sat next to.”

More to come.

Image: Getty Images