NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is urging Sydney residents to “brace themselves” for further case announcements on Friday morning after Thursday’s cluster.
The news comes after the whole of Sydney’s Northern Beaches were told to stay home and avoid socialising or gathering following 17 cases in the area on Thursday.
At this stage, the lockdown is voluntary for Northern Beaches residents but is highly recommended for all 250,000+ locals until Sunday night.
“I am asking people to brace themselves today, we are going to see more cases overnight. No doubt about it,” she said in a statement on Friday morning.
“I will be providing an update with the Health Minister later in the day, I want everybody to brace themselves. We are going to have a considerable amount of cases come, I think, during the day, and that is because people have come forward to get tested.”
Following the announcement, the Queensland government has already introduced a self-quarantine order for anyone who has been in the northern beaches since December 11, which will toughen to a hotel quarantine for anyone arriving in the state after 1am Saturday.
Similar measures have been introduced in Tasmania, Victoria and the Northern Territory. However, Victoria has not ruled out further measures like closing the border to NSW, with announcements to be made later today.
“We recognise this is a very finely balanced issue, obviously people are making a lot of Christmas trips and Christmas preparations at this point in time, we need to get this right,” DHHS Commander of Testing Jeroen Weimar said.
“This is something we have been in planning for, something that we should expect going forward, that there will be sporadic COVID outbreaks.”
Meanwhile, Western Australia has ordered a 14-day quarantine for anyone travelling from NSW as a whole.
“I understand these changes will cause some frustration and uncertainty for some people,” Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said.
Further announcements are expected to be made at 11am when Gladys Berejiklian addresses the media.
The news comes after NSW has enjoyed a relatively COVID-normal life for the last few months. So, uhh, Merry Christmas, I guess.