New "precautionary" restrictions will come into force from 5pm today until midnight on Monday 10 May in Greater Sydney after a household contact of yesterday's community transmission case of COVID-19 also tested positive overnight.
The restrictions will see masks once again mandatory in indoor settings, a 20 person limit for household gatherings, singing and dancing banned in venues, and consumption of alcohol must be done while seated.
The news comes as NSW Health published an updated list of venues of concern visited by the two confirmed cases of COVID-19 overnight, which expanded to include The Royal Sydney Golf Club in Rose Bay and a Woolworths in Double Bay.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the new restrictions, in effect for just three days, are a proportionate response to this latest COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney and will give health officials the opportunity to discover a missing link in the chain of transmission.
"What we're doing is a very proportionate response over the next three days," says Premier Berejiklian.
"We know that at least one person with the virus has been going around 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.
"We're not shutting down the city. We're not changing the two square metre rule quite the contrary. We're saying to everybody: business as usual, but just do a few things extra."
NSW Health officials today announced two new locally acquired cases of COVID-19: the man in his 50s who was revealed as positive yesterday afternoon and a household contact of his.
The man in his 50s had 10 close contacts, all of which have been tested. Excluding the household contact, the remaining nine all tested negative for COVID-19.
In the past 24 hours health officials also identified nine positive infections in hotel quarantine, and 11,579 COVID-19 tests were conducted.
In response to the outbreak Queensland has issued new advice for arrivals into the state from Greater Sydney. As of 1am on Friday 7 May anyone who has been to any of the venues of concern at the specified times must go into hotel quarantine for 14 days.
QLD Minister for Health Yvette D'Ath has called on those who have been to Sydney recently to continue checking venue additions in NSW.
NSW Health looking for the "missing link"
Health authorities are currently on the lookout for a "missing link" that would explain how the man from Sydney's eastern suburbs became infected with COVID-19.
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said genomic sequencing of the man's infection matched with an overseas case who travelled from the US and stayed at the Park Royal hotel in Darling Harbour.
The traveller tested positive for COVID-19 on his first day in quarantine and was then moved to a specialised facility on 28 April.
Dr Chant says the man from Sydney's eastern suburbs has had no contact with any hotel quarantine workers or medical staff before becoming infected, so contact tracers and health officials are trying to determine how the infection managed to reach the man.
"What we're concerned about is that there's a missing link," says Dr Chant.
"We can't find any direct link between our case, so what we're concerned about is that there is another person that is yet unidentified that infected our case. And then, the hypothesis is that our case then passed it onto the household."
NSW Health is reviewing CCTV footage to find out how the transmission occurred.
Dr Chant says because the overseas traveller arrived on 26 April health officials can narrow down how and when the man from the eastern suburbs was exposed.
"Usually we have to go back 14 days, but because of the link to the geonomics we now know that he was most likely, taking those sequence of infections, around that end of April," says Dr Chant.
Dr Chant says that has allowed contact tracers to identify another list of venues that the man in his 50s attended before he was infectious and where he was most likely exposed to the virus.
As such, anyone who attended the following venues at the specified times has been asked to get tested and isolate:
- Fratelli Fresh in the Sydney CBD on Tuesday 27 April between 1.15-2.15pm
- Bondi Trattoria in Bondi Beach on Thursday 29 April between 12.45-1.30pm
Updated at 11:41am AEST on 6 May 2021.
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support