Lifestyle

Northern beaches restrictions snap back

The stay-at-home order imposed on residents of Sydney’s northern beaches has been reinstated after the conclusion of Christmas festivities.

NSW recorded nine new locally-acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday, from almost 40,000 tests. Eight of those cases were connected to the 116-strong northern beaches cluster.

After a three-day reprieve for small indoor Christmas gatherings, the northern beaches has from Sunday returned to restrictions barring indoor gatherings.

But outdoor gatherings of up to five people on the northern end of the northern beaches are permissible, as well as outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people on the southern end of the northern beaches.

People may neither enter nor exit the local government area.

For the rest of Sydney as well as Wollongong, the Central Coast and Blue Mountains, 10-person private gathering restrictions again apply.

The rules for New Year’s Eve will be announced on December 30.

“We know today the strategy we have in place is working and I want to really thank everybody for trying so hard and working so hard during what is often a time when we are all coming together,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“The reason we’re doing (restrictions) at the moment in three-day bite-sized chunks is to make sure we have the best advice available.”

But Ms Berejiklian warned that Sydneysiders would be watching New Year’s Eve fireworks from home this year, rather than the Sydney foreshore.

Many Sydneysiders were also forced to make do with smaller Christmas celebrations in 2020 because of restrictions on family gatherings.

But police were on Christmas afternoon called to help break up a large crowd at a park at Bronte in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

“It is absolutely appalling to see what was clearly a group of people, a large gathering of people, who didn’t give a damn about the rest of Sydney,” NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard told reporters on Saturday.

“That event, I am hoping, will not become a super-spreader event.”

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