Covid-19 Australia: Queensland declares ALL of Sydney a coronavirus hotspot

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All of Greater Sydney has been declared a Covid-19 hotspot by the Queensland government, as in increasing number of states look to restrict NSW travellers.

This includes the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour, leaving millions trapped out of the Sunshine State just days before the school holidays. 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement via Twitter after Sydney recorded 16 new locally acquired cases on Wednesday bringing the cities growing cluster to 35.

The border closure will go into effect on Thursday at 1am.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has declared all of Greater Sydney a Covid-19 hotspot

This includes the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour, leaving millions trapped out of the Sunshine State just days before the school holidays. Pictured: Travellers at Sydney Airport on June 23, 2021

This includes the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour, leaving millions trapped out of the Sunshine State just days before the school holidays. Pictured: Travellers at Sydney Airport on June 23, 2021

This includes the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour, leaving millions trapped out of the Sunshine State just days before the school holidays. Pictured: Travellers at Sydney Airport on June 23, 2021

Under the new rules, anyone entering Queensland who has been in any areas Greater Sydney areas must go into hotel quarantine for 14 days.

Non-Queensland residents will have to do the same but will also need to get a permit before enter the state.  

‘You must complete the Queensland Travel Declaration up to three days prior to your arrival into Queensland,’ the Queensland government says on its website.

‘The form should take about three minutes to complete and your declaration will be issued immediately via email.’ 

Just two days before public schools break for two weeks, Queensland followed Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand by imposing bans on travellers from much of Sydney.

Earlier today the federal government also declared the Local Government Areas including Sydney City, Woollahra, Bayside, Canada Bay, Inner West, Randwick and Waverley, Covid hotspots. 

The declaration means that in the case of a full-scale lockdown, residents will be eligible for government support payments. 

There were 16 new locally-acquired cases of Covid in Sydney on Wednesday. Pictured: Health workers perform Covid tests in Bondi

There were 16 new locally-acquired cases of Covid in Sydney on Wednesday. Pictured: Health workers perform Covid tests in Bondi

There were 16 new locally-acquired cases of Covid in Sydney on Wednesday. Pictured: Health workers perform Covid tests in Bondi 

Sydney's Covid outbreak has now climbed to 35 cases. Pictured: A worker at Bondi Junction wipes down surfaces

Sydney's Covid outbreak has now climbed to 35 cases. Pictured: A worker at Bondi Junction wipes down surfaces

Sydney’s Covid outbreak has now climbed to 35 cases. Pictured: A worker at Bondi Junction wipes down surfaces

The majority of the new cases in NSW stem from a birthday party on Saturday in West Hoxton, in western Sydney, where a Covid-infecte Bondi Junction worker attended a house party with 30 other people.

At least nine others contracted the virus but there are fears even more positive tests could be recorded.  

The man aged in his 30s was not suffering any symptoms but was tested the next day when they developed and received a positive result on Monday.

All party attendees were ordered into self-isolation, with eight partygoers who came forward for testing on Tuesday found to have contracted the virus.

A day before, a two-year-old child who attended Little Zak’s childcare in Narellan Vale, near Campbelltown, on Monday. 

Dr Chant said the outbreak demonstrated how quickly transmission could occur. 

Eight of the 16 new cases announced on Wednesday are linked to a birthday party in Sydney's west that was attended by an unknowingly infectious worker from Bondi Junction Westfield (pictured)

Eight of the 16 new cases announced on Wednesday are linked to a birthday party in Sydney's west that was attended by an unknowingly infectious worker from Bondi Junction Westfield (pictured)

Eight of the 16 new cases announced on Wednesday are linked to a birthday party in Sydney’s west that was attended by an unknowingly infectious worker from Bondi Junction Westfield (pictured)

The highly infectious Delta strain of Covid is proving a challenge for NSW contact tracers. Pictured: Queensland police question motorists at the Queensland / New South Wales border checkpoint in Coolangatta, on the Gold Coast, Australia, 22 December 2020

The highly infectious Delta strain of Covid is proving a challenge for NSW contact tracers. Pictured: Queensland police question motorists at the Queensland / New South Wales border checkpoint in Coolangatta, on the Gold Coast, Australia, 22 December 2020

The highly infectious Delta strain of Covid is proving a challenge for NSW contact tracers. Pictured: Queensland police question motorists at the Queensland / New South Wales border checkpoint in Coolangatta, on the Gold Coast, Australia, 22 December 2020

‘There were about 30 people at that gathering in a house and the person was unknowingly infectious, did not have symptoms, and had not attended venues,’ Dr Chant said.

‘What you can see is that those test results indicate how quickly the virus was transmitted in that circumstance… And that is on day two after exposure. 

‘All those individuals would have unknowingly had the infection on Monday.’

Contact tracers are scrambling to determine exposure sites visited by the positive cases.

The Bondi cluster began last week after a Sydney Airport limousine driver tested positive to the highly-infectious Delta variant, which started spreading at Bondi Junction’s busy Westfield shopping centre.

In light of the flurry of cases, Ms Berejiklian introduced new restrictions across the city and surrounds to contain the outbreak.

Those who live and work in seven hotspot suburbs will not be allowed to leave metropolitan Sydney unless they have an essential reason

Those who live and work in seven hotspot suburbs will not be allowed to leave metropolitan Sydney unless they have an essential reason

Those who live and work in seven hotspot suburbs will not be allowed to leave metropolitan Sydney unless they have an essential reason

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has introduced a raft of new restrictions across Sydney in light of the growing outbreak

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has introduced a raft of new restrictions across Sydney in light of the growing outbreak

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has introduced a raft of new restrictions across Sydney in light of the growing outbreak 

Ms Berejiklian said the restrictions are ‘effective immediately’ for Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, and Shellharbour – though they begin at 4pm.

‘Please abandon non-essential activities, please don’t attend social gatherings unless you absolutely must,’ the premier said on Wednesday.

‘I am not going to rule out further action.’

Residents who live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra local government areas cannot travel outside the metropolitan area unless it’s absolutely essential.

The man, aged in his 30s, attended a birthday party in West Hoxton on Monday while unknowingly infectious

The man, aged in his 30s, attended a birthday party in West Hoxton on Monday while unknowingly infectious

The man, aged in his 30s, attended a birthday party in West Hoxton on Monday while unknowingly infectious

WHAT IS METROPOLITAN SYDNEY?  

Metropolitan Sydney includes: 

Sydney 

Blue Mountains

Shellharbour

Central Coast 

Wollongong 

 

‘We don’t want the virus to spread to the regions,’ Ms Berejiklian said.

NSW recorded 10 locally-acquired cases to 8pm on Tuesday, seven of which were already announced.

Of those 10 cases, Dr Chant said only two were not in isolation – the Bondi Junction worker and a nine-year-old child who attends the Saint Charles Catholic primary School in Waverley.

The school has closed for three days for contact tracing and cleaning, with students and staff identified as close contacts now isolating.

The additional 13 cases were reported after 8pm, and will be counted in Thursday’s official tally.

Overall, there have been 16 new cases taking the total number of infections to 35, up from 21 on Tuesday.

Under the new restrictions, household visitors are limited to five people, including children, and masks are now compulsory in non-residential indoor settings – including workplaces – and at large outdoor events.

Masks must also be worn to gym classes, which limited to 20 people. 

Sydney's eastern suburbs cluster has ballooned to 31 after 13 new Covid cases were recorded overnight. Pictured: The Bondi Beach Drive-through COVID-19 Clinic with long lines stretching along Campbell Parade on June 23

Sydney's eastern suburbs cluster has ballooned to 31 after 13 new Covid cases were recorded overnight. Pictured: The Bondi Beach Drive-through COVID-19 Clinic with long lines stretching along Campbell Parade on June 23

Sydney’s eastern suburbs cluster has ballooned to 31 after 13 new Covid cases were recorded overnight. Pictured: The Bondi Beach Drive-through COVID-19 Clinic with long lines stretching along Campbell Parade on June 23

Earlier on Wednesday, NSW Health issued a health alert after a person infected with the virus flew from Sydney to New Zealand and back.

The alert was for passengers travelling on Qantas flight QF163 on Friday night to Wellington, and anyone who flew on Monday morning on Air New Zealand flight NZ247 from Wellington to Sydney.

Passengers on board those flights must contact NSW Health immediately, get tested and isolate for 14 days regardless of the result.

Meanwhile, a childcare centre 60km southwest of Sydney’s CBD, confirmed in a Facebook post it was closed for deep cleaning after a child who attended the centre on Monday tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday night.

‘The girl and her family are doing well and resting at home,’ Little Zak’s Academy in Narellan Vale posted on Wednesday. 

NEW COVID-19 RULES FOR GREATER SYDNEY 

From 4pm Wednesday for one week: 

Visitors to households will be limited to 5 guests – including children;

Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events;

Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed;

Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed;

Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs however, dancing is allowed at weddings for the bridal party only (no more than 20 people);

Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn);

The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals;

Outdoor seated events will be limited to 50% seated capacity;

Previous public transport capacity limits, represented by green dots, will be reintroduced

 

 

 

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