Northern beaches nears lockdown decision

NSW has again recorded a 24-hour period with zero locally acquired coronavirus cases.

But another case was identified in the northern beaches after the cut-off on Wednesday night, just as the areas’ northern zone approaches its possible reopening.

The new case is a man who has already served a period in quarantine and whose infection is not yet directly linked to the area’s 149-person Avalon cluster.

The suburbs north of the Narrabeen Bridge have been subject to stay-at-home orders since before Christmas, with the government flagging they would not be lifted before Saturday.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said on Thursday that the man did not present symptoms until after he completed his quarantine period, at which point he sought re-testing. He tested COVID-negative at the end of his quarantine.

She said the link between the man and the cluster remains unknown, but acknowledged there were few new opportunities for him to be infected.

“It does highlight that with that level of community transmission in that northern zone … that is the risk we want to make sure we tackle, very promptly,” Dr Chant told reporters on Thursday.

Despite the new case, Mr Hazzard tweeted on Thursday that he hoped the circumstances would allow opening on January 10.

Almost 28,000 people were tested in the 24 hours to 8pm Wednesday.

NSW last recorded zero new local COVID-19 cases on Monday.

The Service NSW app, which hosts a mandatory check-in system for hospitality venues, stopped working for several hours on Thursday afternoon.

It has been compulsory to use the app since the start of 2021.

Meanwhile, the second day of the Australia-India Test will be played at the SCG on Friday, with all attendees forced to wear masks except when eating or drinking.

Victorian authorities are still investigating whether a recent positive case acquired the virus while watching the cricket at the MCG.

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