Premier puts Sydney's eastern suburbs on "very high alert" with new mask guidance

Premier puts Sydney's eastern suburbs on "very high alert" with new mask guidance

Harris Farms in Leichhardt has been named as one of the venues of concern by NSW Health.

Update (1:32pm AEST): In response to the unfolding situation in eastern Sydney, the Queensland Government has declared the local government area (LGA) of Waverley as a hotspot, coming into effect from 1am tomorrow. Anyone who has been in the area within the last 14 days will not be allowed into Queensland, unless they are approved for an exemption in which case they will need to go into hotel quarantine. Also from 1am tomorrow, the Sunshine State will require online forms to be filled prior to entry.

People in Greater Sydney will be required to wear masks on public transport for at least the next five days as the state reports one new locally acquired case of COVID-19 today.

In addition, New South Wales health authorities are strongly recommending masks to be worn in indoor venues like cinemas and shopping centres, but the direction is not mandatory.

Unlike in previous outbreaks, the state government is considering Greater Sydney to be a literal definition that excludes the Central Coast, Illawarra and Wollongong from the mandate.

The latest case was detected by NSW Health after 8pm last night and is a man in his 50s living in the Bondi area.

The man attended Myer in Bondi Junction Westfield and could have contracted the virus from "very fleeting contact", according to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

"For this reason we want everyone in the eastern suburbs to remain on very high alert," the Premier said.

"Our strong preference is that you do not engage in any activity unless you absolutely have to, especially in those eastern suburbs communities, especially in proximity to the venues that have already been identified," she said.

All of the man's household contacts have tested negative to COVID-19 and are in isolation.

It comes as NSW Health added a number of locations to its list of venues of concern including a Harris Farm in Leichhardt and a Lorna Jane in Zetland.

Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed is a close contact and must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result:

  • The Twisted Olive, Redfern on Sunday 13 June from 12.20-1.30pm
  • Lorna Jane, East Village Shopping Centre, Zetland on Monday 14 June from 11am-1pm

If you were at the following venues at the time listed, you must immediately call NSW Health on 1800 943 553, get tested and self-isolate until you receive information from NSW Health:

  • Northmead Bowling Club, Northmead on Sunday 13 June from 3.30-10pm
  • Adora Handmade Chocolates, Newtown on Sunday 13 June from 2-3.30pm
  • Harris Farm, Leichhardt on Tuesday 15 June from 9.50-10.05am
  • The Alkalizer, Campbelltown on Tuesday 15 June from 9-10am

Anyone who has attended any of the following venues at the times listed is a casual contact and must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received:

  • East Village Shopping Centre, Zetland on Monday 14 June from 11am-1pm
  • The Health Emporium, Bondi on Tuesday 15 June from 12.15-12.45pm
  • Greenwood Grocer, North Sydney on Tuesday 15 June from 5-5.20pm

"[NSW] Health is currently going through all of their venues - they may deem a casual contact to become a close contact, so please make sure that if you've attended any of those venues that you look at the [NSW] Health website consistently," Berejiklian said.

"If [NSW] Health updates the venue from a casual contact to a close contact you'll immediately isolate for 14 days."

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has also confirmed genome sequencing found one of yesterday's announced cases from the Belle Cafe in Vaucluse was an exact match to the initial case for the latest outbreak.

"Now that's expected, but this indicates that the initial case was highly infectious as transmission must have occurred through fleeting exposure, noting that the woman who caught the infection at the cafe was actually seated outside and there was no known contact with the initial case," Dr Chant said.

"Obviously we can't rule out that there was some crossover when they were ordering or other things, but again we're just highlighting that we have observed these transmissions in settings where we would normally see outdoor dining as a lower risk setting, and we would normally see shopping centres as a lower risk setting where you're unlikely to have contact.

Updated at 11.22am AEST on 18 June 2021.

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